Lookalikes of Marge Simpson’s raspy-voiced sisters—or alternatively, the coy nudes of the Louvre’s unsigned Presumed Portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and Her Sister, the Duchess of Villars (ca. 1594)—casually puff away in Jonathan Gardner’s The Smokers (2015), faces obscured by nicotine clouds. The Léger-like women represent just one duo in an exhibition populated by doubles. Gardner’s other paintings, of short-skirted tennis partners and layered faces peering out from behind a plate of fish, accompany Vanessa Maltese’s geometric abstractions and undulating formica “backrest” sculptures, images of which make a cameo in her graphic paintings. Formal resonances between the artists’ works underpin this feminine twinning, evoking the mysteries shared between pairs.
Pictured: Jonathan Gardner, The Smokers, 2015, oil on linen, 60 by 38 inches. Courtesy Nicelle Beauchene, New York.