Los Angeles

Dorothy Waldman

Paideia Gallery

Having recently achieved official Hard Edge recognition, Waldman is discerned amidst change and expansion of her themes. The older works can be likened to connecting bridge structures with possible perspectival implications. These probably have their source in the total field and value orientations of Motherwell and Kline, assimilated at some earlier point in her development. The newer reveal a growing repertoire of broad, flattened, terminal inventions as the extremities of her former limb networks. All are cropped to suggest a detailed portion of a larger complex shape. Though reversals of “object” and ground are possible due to the equal amounts of each, the figures’ complexities permit little to occur in this direction of flux without exertion. The major surface quality throughout is a dry chalkiness, but with the recent introduction of color, a sly, sensuous note begins to appear. In No. 105 she stacks several disparate elements into a vertical juxtaposition, and No. 104, a combination of several in-and-out picture plane levels, represents another of her current innovations.

Painting loosely to an eventual, all-over, purist focus sets her apart from the more typical pre-plan cerebrations of this persuasion. Thus her entire oeuvre bears the minimal but distracting traces of impedimenti. Her adequate straights and tight curve corners tend to warp, skew, and joggle over the painterliness beneath, but long arcs insistently slacken without tension like sails losing the wind. Waldman's work would seem to demand a tightening of self-critical gears and manipulative skills.

––Fidel A. Danieli