There is an interesting discrepancy between theme and delivery in Katharina Wulff’s new paintings. While the gyms and hotel lobby that serve as their settings imply a certain amount of activity, Wulff renders her scenes relatively static. No real exertion is shown in the weight room. Guests crossing the hotel lobby, although mid-stride, seem stiff. Figures in a single image inhabit different planes, appearing frozen amid contradictory perspectives and an overload of stylistic evocations. A typical composition of Wulff’s might suggest a tableau devised by a forgotten Neue Sachlichkeit painter whose figuration somehow recalls both Picasso and Florine Stettheimer and who displays an affinity for children’s book illustrations and for Moorish ornament (Wulff moved from Berlin to Marrakech in 2010 and admiringly depicts details like mosaic archways and Moroccan lanterns). This pastiche sensibility can border on cloying, but Wulff’s work generally maintains an appealing balance while portraying a world in which things never quite line up. —Kyle Bentley
Pictured: Katharina Wulff: Untitled, 2016, oil on canvas, 61â?? by 93½ inches. Courtesy Greene Naftali, New York.