When an artist makes an abrupt 180 in her style, it’s always time to sit up and notice. Penelope Gottlieb has become synonymous with nature, especially the freakiness of nature, of extinction and mutation. Her acrylics and oils took a modern approach to Audubon-era nature painting, either by adding a crazed overlay, or by applying those old techniques to flora that make it look as though it was disintegrating before our eyes.
“Portraits in Air (A Series Revisited)” isn’t that. At all. And it’s not new. In fact, this short series of paintings dates from 2004, long before nature crept into the scene. In this exhibition at Edward Cella’s satellite gallery at Cabana Home, there’s little to tie these works to her current series, except for anxiety.