NATALIE CHEUNG’s “Facsimile” and ANDREI PETROV’s “B.C./A.D” reviewed in the Washington Post

10 Apr

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“Cappadocian Field Trip” and other abstract oil paintings by Andrei Petrov evoke erosion. (Andrei Petrov/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

“Cappadocian Field Trip” and other abstract oil paintings by Andrei Petrov evoke erosion. (Andrei Petrov/Courtesy of Morton Fine Art)

 

April 10, 2015

NATALIE CHEUNG’s “Facsimile” and ANDREI PETROV’s “B.C./A.D.” reviewed in the Washington Post

Natalie Cheung & Andrei Petrov

Photograms and chemigrams are both forms of camera-less photography yet have a very different feel. Natalie Cheung illustrates the contrast with “Facsimile,” at Morton Fine Art. The smaller photograms, created by placing objects on photo paper and then exposing it, are hard-edged, black-and-white and essentially tidy. The chemigrams, painted with chemicals on photo paper, are larger and looser. The billowing black and red-brown forms suggest ink painting but also, at their most ominous, blood-
spatter patterns. One piece resembles a razor blade, dripping with black plasma. Even if it may not be what the Washington artist intended, these pictures are beguilingly dark, fluid and strange.

The abstract oils of Andrei Petrov’s “B.C./A.D.,” also at Morton, evoke glaciation, erosion and water seeping through rock. Such associations fit the Washington-born New York artist’s method: He both builds and subtracts from his paintings, scraping and sanding to achieve a hard-worked surface and compositions that feature seeming cracks and crevices. The colors include some bright blues but are mostly shades that suggest minerals. Although “Swiss Bliss” somewhat resembles a landscape, most of the works lack that picture’s sense of distance. Whatever it is that Petrov depicts, he puts the viewer very close to its center.

Facsimile: Alternative Process Photographs by Natalie Cheung and B.C./A.D.: Nature-Based Abstract Oil Paintings by Andrei Petrov On view through April 16 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. http://www.mortonfineart.com

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