The conceit of this show, which is abstract expressionism done with social themes, an African American edge, and a few personal tributes, stretch thin rather quickly. The themes are too rangey for a single canvas, and while Tsombikos’s paintings entertain with wit and mastery of minutiae, one senses evasion rather than concentration. His talent allows him a visual pun or two, like Pollock’s drip paintings done with spray paint, or his signature fililng half a canvas in dry homage to Rothko. Tsombikos substitutes blended argument for gags, and thus creates an easy escape.
Apparently tributes to his suicide-victim friend Bobby L Fisher, the Fontana of Youth series – bus seats slashed and peppered with wounds – are an embarrassment, particularly for how facile they are. It’s hard to believe Tsombikos: each part of his work is laid