Thomas Van Auken is obsessed with the mundane. A painter’s painter, the Richmond-born artist’s cityscapes and nudes are new traditionalist pursuits in capturing the unvarnished moment. On their face, his oil paintings are purposely unadventurous, eschewing flash and pizazz for a measured awareness of time and place. There’s a stubborn insistence to his work not only in the terrestrial practicality of his subject matter, but also in the way he applies paint to canvas. Line, color, light and form are rendered in loose yet knowing strokes, and he often captures the essence of his subject within a single flourish of pigment. Van Auken’s intuitive realism renders the commonplace as a work of art. His new show, “Untitled,” opens at the Eric Schindler Gallery on Friday, Sept. 26, 7-9 p.m. Through Oct. 10. ericschindlergallery.com.
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