ADRIAN, ©1982 watercolor and graphite on paper
Alan Magee at Staempfli Gallery
The New York Times, October 22, 1982
Alan Magee is not the only painter around who can fool us into thinking that what we are looking at is not a painting at all but “the real thing.” It is with the skill of a master forger that he takes brush, watercolor and colored pencil and simulates the look of a beat up envelope, a familiar letterhead, a 100-year old scrap of handwriting or a set of fossilized teeth.
But there are other people around who can do that. What sets Mr. Magee apart is the sense of neighborly relations with which one kind of object is combined with another. We marvel at the skill, but what stays with us is the echo of some very strange conjunctions.
John Russell was an art historian and critic who wrote for the London Sunday Times from 1950-1974, then for the New York Times from 1974-1990