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Detail from a work on paper by Erika Somogyi
at Monya Rowe Gallery in New York. Somogyi's drawings depict people in ambiguous rural or exurban spaces having Carlos Castaneda-like transcendent moments, merging into the landscape and etherscape, as denoted by vivid whorls and slashes of DayGlo paint. I'm sure they are not using drugs. I've mused before on the perennial return of a hippie aesthetic
and the differences between the ultra-ironic use of DayGlo by Peter Halley and Kenny Scharf in the '80s and its rather more committed use by Somogyi and others. Her work is driven, without the complete obliviousness to history usually marked by this kind of project. Further pondering will have to be done on how it escapes self-consciousness but also avoids the better-known outsider cliches.