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Upon walking into Garth Greenan Gallery in Chelsea, your first instinct may be to walk up to one of Victoria Gitman’s canvases and place your hand onto it, rubbing your palm back forth, just like you would to a fluffy dog, or an especially furry blanket. These canvases are not covered in fur, however, but oil paints, and palming one will only get you kicked to the curb.

Victoria Gitman: Taktisch, closes at Garth Greenan on February 17, so hurry over to Chelsea soon to check out these tromp l’oeil masterpieces for yourself. Gitman, 46, paints meticulously in oils, painting each separate strand of hair one at a time. She bases the designs off of vintage fur handbags, creating an intensely deceiving work of art.

The Buenos Aires born artist’s works are tiny, none more that 7 and ⅛ inches high or 9 and ¼ inches wide. At the gallery, the canvases are spaced far apart, forcing the viewer to engage in each work separately, walking up very close, and watching the slow visual change of recognition, from a canvas covered in fur to an oil painting.

Takitsch, the name of the exhibition, is a term coined by Vienna School art historian Aloïs Riegl, according to the show’s press release. It means “visual touching,” perhaps the only way to describe the phenomenon of experiencing one of Gitman’s pieces. Looking at her works, you can almost feel the fur.


-Carolyn Twersky

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