In Heather Guertin’s big paintings, circles swell and overlap, their soft borders visible in translucent, woolly blends. An Appearance, Blue (all works 2016) has the look and coloring of a beach ball. Vision, Indent looks jaunty with bright shades of cerulean and orange, but one of the inner ovals shyly bends inward, making the shape of a bean. Cartoonish eyes float near the upper reaches of the circles, hinting that each image is a sort of inverted emoji, where expressivity comes not from the arrangement of features on a surface but rather from the modulation of colors and the kinks and divots in the lines. The effect is most striking in Nadir, Yellow, where arcs hued like overripe bananas are packed in a long, narrow rectangle rather than the broad canvases of the other paintings. It’s a vortex of interiority that sucks the whole room into itself. —Brian Droitcour
Pictured: Heather Guertin: Vision, Indent, 2016, oil on canvas, 96 by 68 inches. Courtesy Brennan & Griffin, New York.