Eric leans back in his chair, lost in thought, posing for the painter. He wears conspicuously odd socks and purple laced shoes. Objects seem to drift around him like figments in the ambient glow of the studio, or perhaps it’s the atmosphere of the painting itself, with its veils of gold and ochre. Everything is at once so distinct, from Eric’s sidelong gaze, to the stiff folds of his jacket, and yet so abstracted. The portrait seems to partake of its subject’s pensiveness.
Eric Mack is a painter too, and a friend of the black American artist Jennifer Packer MFA ’12. Even if you didn’t know it, you would immediately perceive the intimacy between Packer and the circle of people she paints in this show. The poet April Freely turns away from her typewriter to sit as still as she can for Packer: restless, waiting, fingertips twitching in a shining yellow aura. The New York artist Tschabalala Self appears twice in a single painting, like successive images in a flick-book, shifting about like one of the energetic female figures in her own art.
Read more of Laura Cumming’s review of Jennifer Packer’s first first European exhibition in this Guardian article.