Having seen entire schedules and activities change so dramatically over the course of the year, the morning routine, for me, has become something of a sacred ceremony. What used to be a rather rushed practice has become slow and methodical. Coffee seems to be more of a ritual, the morning walk, an essential step to normalcy. With the thrum of anxiety a backdrop to our lives, the morning's promise of a fresh start is bracing.

Louis Fratino,, a poet of a painter if there ever was one, approaches intimacy and those moments in-between in such a powerful way. The way he depicts contemporary gay life always feels revelatory, as if pulling back the veil on relationships withindividuality that kindles a revived energy into documentary style painting. His newest solo show, Morning, on view, by appointment,  at Sikkema Jenkins in NYC through November 14, captures even more nuance of daily life in this time of personal contemplation. The gallery speaks of "the tonal and emotionally evocative qualities of morning light, and the quotidian routines associated with that time of day," and I can't help but think of how our days seem to meld into something much more subtle.


And Fratino is so gifted at painting that Subtle. One standout work in the show, Eggs, Dishes, Coreopsis, the relatable depiction of waking up to a dirty kitchen from days of putting off chores,  reveals layers and layers of art historical reference in a quiet domestic scene. Like the great modernists before him, and queer painters such as Filippo de Pisis and Marsden Hartley that Fratino notes as inspiration, Morning is both an old school painting show with the constant reminder of contemporary life in 2020. He paints silence with a rare boldness, and we can't wait to see his career grow. —Evan Pricco

All images: © Louis Fratino, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Installation images:
Louis Fratino, Morning
Sikkema Jenins & Co, New York, 2020

All photos: Jason Wyche