This week, Asya Geisberg Gallery presents Razor Burn, an exhibition of paintings on stretched silk and colored pencil drawings by Katarina Riesing. At first glance the work’s infatuation with laborious detail and rich material – especially in the hand-embroidered gold thread, use of silk, or the exquisitely-rendered swirls of patterned stocking – seem inspired by a northern Renaissance luxuriance. Yet Riesing’s insistence on close croppings, and sometimes awkward, unsightly (i.e. the show’s title) or uncomfortably erotic aspects of the body, reveal surreptitious squirming. Even when we are turned on, we feel perhaps that we shouldn’t be watching. The confrontational intimacy of such compositions is paradoxically reserved, as Riesing leaves plenty unsaid in her otherwise recognizable depictions. In a few images,…

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