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In Brief:
Rodrigo Moynihan at the Robert Miller Gallery

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The English painter Rodrigo Moynihan (1910-1990), whose show at the Robert Miller Gallery closes at the end of this week, abjures a flashy palette or a showy display of feeling. He loves dusty grays and muted umbers and the aura of a faded fresco. He seems immersed in the life of the studio, staying close to the brushes and the paint no matter what his subject might be. Many of his still lifes and figurative pictures appear brilliantly poised between the sketchy and the finished, the spontaneous and the studied. (In the truly elegant, there must be something casual.) But Moynihan is far from being a mere dandy or aesthete. And he is not showily humble. When he paints a shelf hanging in space, upon which he depicts a few jars and bits of studio debris, he also establishes a metaphysical plane. And when he renders a mirror, he opens a fresh window to the figure: Something luminous and unexpected charges the reflected image. Moynihan’s paintings take time, ripening slowly in the mind’s eye. A rare virtue in our period.


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