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Oil on panel, 22x27x1", 2012
Portfolios: January 2014 Curator Reviewed Art
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I find it interesting that these new untitled paintings are abruptly different from your earlier, darker and contrasted pieces that I’d admired, but still maintain a signature way of manipulating compositional space. Almost idiosyncratic in their insistence on asymmetry and compositional friction, I find them extremely innovative and appealing. The complementary yellow and tinted violets are muted to reduce any jarring discord, but there is nonetheless a visual dissension in the surprised meeting of the blocks of pure hue. Texturally, there is faint vibration in the surface of these color panels and shapes, but they don’t break up enough to change directional movement or challenge the flatness of the pictorial plane. The central division of shapes is usual, but vaguely familiar. I’m curious if the partitioning of the abstract yellow shape in the center, echoing with the same tone on the ‘outside’, is an abstraction of a natural occurrence or subject matter, or a purely intuitive and imaginative invention. Either way, the choices read as personal. On the surface, Portrait of the artist as a young man is yet another shift in painterly approach, with its singular modeled and organic form and larger expanse of soft color variation. The distorted ‘portrait’ maintains a figurative presence despite its abstraction, and blurred edges. For me it is reminiscent of Francis Bacon’s late portraits, fleshy and seductive, but vaguely menacing.
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