Critics’ Picks

Andrew Dadson, Cut It, 2016, oil on canvas, 82 1/2 x 61 1/2".


Andrew Dadson

Pfingstweidstrasse 23
June 9–July 22

Seven large white monochrome canvases, all in portrait format. The paint is molded into shapes that jut out from the canvas, intersecting lines that imply letters. It’s as though the painting wants to speak, to form a word, yet it hasn’t fully fathomed how and so it sings instead. In Cut It, 2016, it’s a giant lower-case N taking up the entire body; elsewhere, an S and a T . . . stop? Or still, step, stay? We certainly don’t want to go away. These paintings compel, their loudness blares out at us. We can hear them becoming, even as we move past.

To call them monochromes is wrong, too. Or at least not completely right, because beneath the impasto-thick white, rainbows bleed through. Oftentimes, fingers have clawed their way through the surface to reveal the color underneath, like hands digging their way through the earth.

In Yard, 2016, arching swerves are made by muscular, wide swaths of paint and canvas. A curling sensation; the scratches give a percussive edge to the geometric plane, its ridges and folds, its cartographic ambitions. Painting as sculpture, sure. But painting as writing, also. New language is needed to discuss all this, but Andrew Dadson molds a way toward articulation, as inchoate as it may initially seem.