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Jack Chevalier: Paintings
This admirably schooled, frequently exhibited and much collected painter and object-maker is a thirty-year veteran of the formal and theoretical discourse that has ensued since the advent of Minimalism and Conceptualism ñ digressed as his sensibilities variously have been at times by abstract expressionist, photo-based, neo-indigenous or pattern-based art. Chevalier's earlier works were large-scale, with dense layers of conflicting style ever projecting this discourse to the fore as the true and legitimate subject of painting. At the same time, he juggled phenomenological and iconological sub-texts, consistent with what became the European neo-expressionistic return to the traditional format of easel painting. At times one could imagine Chevalier as kind of a Pacific Northwest Anselm Kiefer emblazoning his dark visions on Haida housefronts. The new works at Linda Hodges are by comparison smaller in scale, but much more distilled in resolution. Often poncho-shaped or subliminally resembling masks or body armour, they are cut out of or painted upon veneer-clad particle board, and support the geometric shapes (circles, squares, rectangles and cruciforms) that always have been effective for him on fields of solid or distressed paint and revealed wood grain. Instead of the whole nine yards, Chevalier is giving us something succinct yet just as visually nourishing to think about.
© Ted Lindberg