Review of ‘Otis Kaye: Money, Mystery, and Mastery’ at the New Britain Museum of American Art

March 11, 2015 10:20 PM

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Review of ‘Otis Kaye: Money, Mystery, and Mastery’ at the New Britain Museum of American Art

Otis Kaye—you’ve probably never heard of him. Even many art historians do not recognize his name. But “Otis Kaye: Money, Mystery, and Mastery,” a small exhibition here at the New Britain Museum of American Art, shows this eccentric artist, who sold only a few pictures in his lifetime (1885-1974), to be well worth knowing.

The exhibit heralds Kaye as a master of the still-life genre known as trompe l’oeil (which uses hyperrealistic images and shortened perspective to “fool the eye” into seeing the painted objects as real) and a less-successful practitioner of landscape and figurative art. Judging from the 34 works on ...

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