If Gregory Edwards' paintings could talk, they might sound like Siri: flat, monotone, pleasant, and unsettling. In the artist's fourth show with 47 Canal, titled "Pedestrian Paintings," images are superimposed, cropped, and nested. They draw attention to framing—a fitting intervention during a time when the experience of the outside is modulated by windows, both physical and digital—and the way hardware and software have rewired both cities themselves and the ways we conceptualize and move through them.
The source photographs were taken during Edwards' sojourns around the city, so these paintings will feel familiar to any city dweller, particularly New Yorkers: a tangle of wires, the glare of headlights, the dapple of the shadow of leaves on a concrete sidewalk. In Pedestrian Painting 2 (2020), street lamps and barbed wire might draw to mind surveillance and incarceration; elsewhere, in Pedestrian Painting 7 (2020) [pictured], the inner image seems like a scoped-in-view of the outer, paralleling the way one might bend down to inspect an odd shape in the street—here, a crumpled smiley face.
Gregory Edwards, Pedestrian Painting 7, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 × 48 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York. Photo: Joerg Lohse.