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July 29 2014

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A Bright Spot In January

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Bold strokes of black acrylic paint and built-up fluorescent polymer gel isn’t what you would expect from a painter based in the French countryside, but Hermann Amann isn’t one for conventionality. “He’s such an interesting man; you can’t even have a conversation with him without him suddenly talking about colors or going over his work out loud,” curator Alexis Dahan said at last night’s opening for the 76-year-old artist. Up for the next three weeks at Half Gallery, Fluorescence is the first U.S. show for Amann, but Dahan, a photographer whose own work has been featured in Purple and W magazines, was attracted to Hermann’s oeuvre early on. “I was his secretary when I was 17,” Dahan explained. “I realized then that I couldn’t be a painter myself. I saw what it took; you can’t just make painting your hobby.”

With wintry conditions on both sides of the Atlantic, the German-born painter couldn’t make his own show, but had he made the hop, he would have been greeted by admirers such as Justin Giunta, Cynthia Rowley, and model Coco Young. “Those bold colors are what caught my eye first,” Half Gallery owner Bill Powers began. “I was walking past Alexis’ office and he had one of Hermann’s paintings up. That’s how the show idea came about.” Young, who’s served as painter John Currin’s muse, offered a like-minded observation: “It’s nice to see a bright pop of color in the middle of winter.”

Fluorescence runs until January 22 at Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth St., NYC, www.halfgallery.com.

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Dept. of Culture