Where to buy… Julien Nguyen

The Week re­views an ex­hi­bi­tion in a private gallery at Mod­ern Art

The Week - - Arts -

The Amer­i­can painter Julien Nguyen is not one to shy away from a bold ges­ture. His stock in trade is tak­ing the im­agery of Ital­ian Re­nais­sance re­li­gious scenes and trans­port­ing them to morally murky present-day Los An­ge­les, throw­ing a bit of Ger­man ex­pres­sion­ism in for good mea­sure. A typ­i­cal paint­ing in this show of new work, ti­tled Ex Forti Dul­cedo, will por­tray a res­ur­rected Je­sus look­ing for all the world like a stoned rock star, or de­pict the Vir­gin com­plete with tan and A-list bone struc­ture. Ref­er­ences to the old mas­ters are coated in seed­i­ness and lightly sex­u­alised, a trick that oc­ca­sion­ally re­duces things to the level of gim­mickry. Yet while the Bronzi­nomeets-bret Eas­ton El­lis for­mula can seem a lit­tle laboured, Nguyen is an ac­com­plished painter with an im­pres­sive eye for com­po­si­tion. Best of the lot here is his rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of Leonardo’s An­nun­ci­a­tion, in which Gabriel and Mary have im­prob­a­bly ended up perched around one of David Hock­ney’s Cal­i­for­nian swim­ming pools. Prices on re­quest.

50-58 Vyner Street, Lon­don E2 (020-7299 7950). Un­til 27 June.

The Bap­tism (2018), 101.6cm x 76.2cm

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