San Francisco

Dimitri Grachis

Green Gallery

Some of these paintings are entirely black. The definition of shapes has been obtained by using gravel in the black, which is to be positive: a disc of graveled black is seen in relief against the negative silvery black of smooth, thin paint. This is counterpoised against a graveled black square with the disc as a hole reversing the negative-positive relationship. Or the whole painting may be unevenly graveled with a scrived line as though a clam had moved from there to there. (If one is prone to literary simile only such modest allusions are allowable: the painter has scrupulously avoided suggestive form, and there are no titles.) As in a Bach invention the meaning is purely formal. The theme is reversed, stretched, seen in diminution, etc. In some paintings a tiny blue circle with a thin red edge has been glued down. In another a thin sifting of natural-color sand adheres. This experience of seeing is ascetic, calm and quiet.

Knute Stiles