Medrie MacPhee Out of Pocket, 2016

Medrie MacPhee
Out of Pocket, 2016
oil and mixed media on canvas
90 x 78 inches

A stalwart midtown gallery joins the swelling ranks of the Lower East Side with an inaugural show of adroit canvases, in which irregular blocks of color cover surfaces from edge to edge. MacPhee has been painting in New York since the late seventies, mining a familiar vein of architectonic abstraction. But her new work has an ingenious twist: the compositions combine oil paint and salvaged scraps of clothing. Buttons, seams, and the like remain intact, and the results have an irresistible weirdness. “A Dream of Peace” is a fractured rainbow of yellows and browns that sports twin white pockets on its left side. In another appealing piece, two teardrop-shaped embellishments are placed end to end, forming a sartorial infinity sign.