Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times

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Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times, Art in Review, January 31, 1997

This exhibition of small cityscapes and landscapes in the newly relocated Tibor de Nagy Gallery is the first show in New York City by Stuart Shils, a 42-year-old painter from Philadelphia. The works, each about a foot square, depict snowcapped apartment buildings and gathering storms over spring fields. They look quick and loose, but Mr. Shils also makes the brush strokes convey details. He admires Corot and Howard Hodgkin, which makes sense: he’s striving for immediacy, freshness and a mix of precise description with abstraction. A work like "The Narrow House, Afternoon Sun" is a jigsaw puzzle of interlocking planes and flat, warm light that pays homage to Corot’s Italian sketches. "Red Light at 33d and Diamond," on the other hand, resembles a view of a rainy street seen through a wet windshield, blurry and slick. It’s a good effect. The pictures don’t radically differ from countless little cityscapes painted by other artists, except that Mr. Shils seems more adept than most, and more sensitive.