Gallery Pick

By Cate McQuaid, Boston GlobeMarch 17, 2005

Cold January Drive

Many of Dmitri Cavander’s paintings at MPG Contemporary portray nothing special: A truck parked under a bridge, a dumpster on a dock, a rest stop. But the simplicity of his forms, and the contrast of shadow with light that’s as sweet and potent as nectar, lend these basic scenes a distinctive import. Cavander is a realist who excels at revealing the magical in the mundane with a facile thick brush, thick paint, and a warm color scheme. In Fall on Line Street he chooses not to articulate the leaves on autumn trees, instead painting great fans of yellow and amber, seeming to catch the sunlight like baseball mitts. Cold January Drive shows the curve of a highway at dusk: brake lights and lane markers mete out a patient rhythm in the shadow of fir trees, beneath a shimmering peach sky. In all of these painting, the contrast of light and dark tones create a brew intended to make you stop, look, and feel.