When doing a painting of a cake, what better way to apply rich, shiny, creamy paint than with a palette knife and make it look so much like frosting that you want to lick the canvas? He also delinates the work with lines/layers of reds, blues, oranges and yellows adding to the rich hues of the objects (and people) he's painting. It's easy to undervalue or even dismiss his work due to the subject matter - cakes, pies, ice cream, candy, gumball machines and other nostalgia. But the skill and composition are absolutely there. This show also has his San Francisco cityscapes and figurative work, although the latter (and the still-lifes) are still his high water mark.
The retrospective is almost over (November 30th) so if you're in the area it is well worth the visit. Acquavella Gallery is located at 18 E. 79th St between 5th and Madison. With all the misery we've had in this area the past few weeks, this show is a wonderful respite that will keep you smiling long after you've exited the gallery.