Art Galleries

Ovid Redux: M. Louise Stanley Paints the Classics

When: May 8-18 2019

The Grand Tour of Europe made by young English gentlemen of the nineteenth century is now a rite of passage for post-collegiate American cognoscenti. The East Bay’s M. Louise Stanley has made Americans in Paris, soaking up culture and art history, her specialty. Stanley’s take is anything but elitist, however, as her paintings in Ovid Redux: M. Louise Stanley Paints the Classics demonstrate; her copious museum sketches of old masterpieces morph into lovingly satirical paintings of Americans abroad interacting with the allegorical/mythological art of the past. Classicism’s all-too-human gods and their erotic contortions are somewhat ridiculous today, and ripe for subversion. Stanley’s absurd scenarios — a garage sale of saintly relics; putti on strike; Eve as a California nudist peddling apples; a louche party-girl surrendering to an importunate Jupiter — are cheerfully affectionate, rather than sardonic.

DeWitt Cheng