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John Kelsey

“Gaps are my starting point. My impotence is my origin.”

—Paul Valéry, Monsieur Teste

Some say Michael Krebber doesn’t translate to New York, but a painter who “prefers not to” isn’t exactly going to meet the demands of a city powered by big dumb painting head on. All the paint in Krebber’s last two shows here couldn’t fill one small canvas by Dana Schutz or John Currin. With “Flaggs (Against Nature)” and then, only six months later, “Here it is: The Painting Machine” (both at Greene Naftali in 2003), Krebber demonstrated here and here again that the proof is not in the paint job but in the idea that puts it at a fresh distance. Just as Paul Valéry called the poem “a prolonged hesitation between sound and sense,” Krebber’s practice could be described as an ongoing hesitation between repetition and interruption (or between having an idea and having no idea). It’s never been a question of

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