FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2002

ART REVIEW

A Profusion of Painting, Very Much Alive
By ROBERTA SMITH

"Floating Touch", mixed media 16"x20", 2002

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Emna Zghal
Two shows reflect painting's closeness to other mediums. Emna Zghal, a Tunisian-born artist, shows diaphanous mixed-media works in her first New York show, at the Scene Gallery on the Lower East Side. The strongest are lushly tinted woodblock prints mounted on canvas and finished with touches of vivid color, both painted and stenciled. With fuzzy grids, swirling patterns and woodgrain at the fore, the surfaces resemble textiles and walls, but the added highlights bring intimations of mysterious landscapes. These surfaces could be less refined, but their quiet pulsing power and sophisticated technique are very promising.
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