If the number of brushstrokes needed to create a believable image of a lemon is in direct proportion to the skill of the artist who painted it, Zhiwei Pan has expertise to spare. “Shy Couple,” a wee oil by the classically trained Chinese painter, could make you salivate, and after breaking down and squeezing a glass of lemonade, you might be refreshed enough to notice just how few gestures actually compose her canvas. Likewise pictures of an avocado, an orange and an angry Smurf (yes, one of those little blue guys, probably Grouchy). Cleverly, many of these come complete with dabs of paint straight from the palette, and the astute viewer can put one plus one together to understand the deftness with which Pan combines colors to create realistic forms. Not that Smurfs are realistic, but still!
—Lori Waxman 2020-02-22 7:35 PM