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Lincoln Perry: 'Rarely Seen Contemporary fine Prints'
by Mark Jenkins
Washington Post, January 17, 2013

(Courtesy Lincoln Perry and Jane Haslem Gallery)
- Lincoln Perry’s ”Picturing Will” is on view at
Jane Haslem Gallery.
There are no history or mythology paintings in “Storyteller,” Jane Haslem Gallery’s exhibition of oils and watercolors by Lincoln Perry. The Charlottesville artist is not that kind of storyteller. But Perry’s vividly hued work evokes the past, in style as well as subject. He’s a realist, but one who borrows from impressionist and expressionist predecessors. He has an affinity for dancers, which recalls Degas, and for warm light, which suggests Italy or Spain more than Virginia.

In fact, two of the pictures use the ruins of Rome’s ancient Forum as backdrops, although Perry is just as likely to depict places where the foliage is plainly tropical, or party or bar scenes that could take place just about anywhere. The artist’s interest in narrative encourages multi-panel compositions, sometimes within a single canvas but often divided among several. Perry experiments with framing in order to further divide his paintings, which can seem gimmicky. But that strategy is a success in the largest piece, “Picturing Will,” a house-shaped, 11-panel picture that shows different activity in every room. As the action moves from light-filled attic to shadowy basement, the picture is also a journey from day into night.

Downstairs is “Rarely Seen Contemporary Fine Prints,” a functionally titled array of extraordinary works on paper, from 1955 to 2003. Each one is elegantly crafted, but among the most engrossing are Beth Van Hoesen’s “Double Rose,” which depicts a peach-colored rose in front of gray floral wallpaper; Billy Morrow Jackson’s jazzy “Vintage Beat,” an abstract woodcut of a drum kit; and Anne Appleby’s “Vienna Variation #8,” an aquatint of two panels of green that have been burnished till they seem to glow around the edges.