Guts 'R' us

Trenton Hancock is crossing the color line with his visceral works of art

In conversation and press, comparisons to Jean-Michel Basquiat float up when it comes to Hancock's canvases--no surprise here. Any young black painter is bound to suffer this fate, especially if he deals in abstracts, but Hancock could be painting like Motherwell and still get the former graffiti artist's name tossed at him. (There are far too few blacks in art history to have their names so indiscriminately interchanged.)

Hancock has won scholarships to several venerable graduate schools; he plans to attend Temple University in Philadelphia in the fall. In the meantime, his debut solo show exposes a young man with one foot planted firmly in Guston's territory and the other standing in Koons'--he'll show you the chip on his shoulder, but he'll make fun of yours too. The images are strong (his works on paper particularly incisive) and intuitive, and if he stays this path, he should only get better.

Trenton Doyle Hancock: Off Colored is at Gerald Peters Gallery through July 11. For info call (214) 969-9410.

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