In Neil Gall’s newest paintings, which are currently being exhibited at David Nolan (April 30 – June 13, 2015), there is a powerfully coercive interplay between figure and background that veers between the unstable and the terrifying. Uneven, jagged holes, cut out of tape-wrapped canvases, become resting places for large, perfectly white, almost moon-like spheres (as in the all-white “Kitchen (Velasquez),” 2015). Sometimes the orbs are not perfectly round but punched or crunched. It is only on second glance that these prove to be not sculptures but paintings, examples of dazzlingly skillful photorealism.
“Neil Gall’s newest works clearly demonstrate his varied interests, which include representational painting, post-minimalist sculpture, and the tension between abstraction and materiality,” says David Nolan, whose gallery presents “Cut-outs, Offcuts, and Holes,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the scottish-born artist opening April 30. Among the 14 works are several depicting loose constructions of Ping-Pong balls and other objects bound together with colored PVC tape; these include 2014’s Yellow (Poussin), far left, and Allegory (Bronzino), left, a “conceptual reworking” of Bronzino’s Allegory with Venus and Cupid, 1545, in London’s National Gallery.