New York

Neil Williams

Emmerich Gallery

Neil Williams’s paintings at the Emmerich Gallery exhibit a clear family resemblance to Frank Stella’s work. The shaped, flat canvases, the divisions of the surface into planes and bands of color that respond to the directive of that shape, the plasticity suggested by the direction of the colored surfaces—all would indicate that Stella and Williams share not only a common vocabulary, but also a common vision. But where Stella labors to expel from his paintings any trace of “composition,” of balancing one element off against another, or any intrusion of manifest illusionism, Williams’s pictures are highly composed. Surface decoration is balanced against illusionist depth, areas of color are balanced against one another across a divide of black, and the paintings, for all their modernity, finally read as sophisticated late Cubism.

Center in Point, like the other paintings in the gallery, is

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