PRINT May 2000


Following the efforts of artists like Liz Larner and Jim Isermann, alongside the larger concerns of their work a whole new category of West Coast abstraction has emerged that is at once revisionist and—here’s the hook—irony-free. For this “next generation,” only the barest vestiges of a critical cover remain to mask the frivolity of aesthetic play or experiment. Their avenues of choice are those ungainly in-between moments of late-modern art history when painting began to morph into sculpture, projecting its mass up to the ceiling, down to the floor, from wall to wall, or simply out into the room. The shaped canvas—that much-maligned solution to painting’s constraining rectilinearity—is back, as are all sorts of Rymanesque variations on the support/surface relation. Once again, painting appears to be hesitating productively at the threshold between the easel and the mural.

Heidi Kidon is

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