December 20, 2008

Acrylic on canvas

Anemic realism at Lind

In new work at Gregory Lind Gallery, Bay Area painter Jake Longstreth extends his vision of the American landscape as made ready for abstraction by its voids and by a cultural anemia diagnosed long ago by photographers such as Robert Adams and Robert Frank and Bay Area painter Robert Bechtle.

The abstraction in a Longstreth picture such as "Sonoma" (2008) seems both to evoke and to result from thin, milky daylight that in Longstreth's work seems to symbolize depletion of attention, almost as precursor to a depletion of the real.

Where most photo-based realism, such as that of Richard Estes, implicitly describes a sort of heightened alertness to detail, Longstreth's hints at the bleak possibility of never coming fully awake.