New York

Edward Avedisian

Robert Elkon Gallery

At the Robert Elkon Gallery, Edward Avedisian shows seven large canvases which continue the line of simplified color abstractions he has concerned himself with for several seasons now. In this show, the ideational framework of each canvas is the same: into a square or rectangular color field, we see the intrusion of several forms which read as part of a very large striped circular disk. These stripes are in two colors only, and there are always three of them in an a-b-a arrangement. All the color, of both field and stripes is stained on the canvas, there is no trace of brushwork. However, the pigment has, in various places, pooled and dried or been absorbed by the support at different rates so that not all the color areas are uniform, quite a number being subtly clouded or mottled. Where the edges of different color areas meet, they have blended and fused or lie over one another, producing a variety of tints and hues other than the basic three-color arrangement. In truth, then, the color scheme of any picture is considerably more involved than is at first noticeable. And, besides the mottling and clouded effects of the colors, almost every picture has “imperfections” in the form of splotches or dribbles, presumably accidental, which do not seem out of place or erratic in the larger framework of the total picture, since the apparent precision of the simple forms in each is itself an sion. The spots are, with the blended and overlapped color contours, slight but definite evidence of the artist’s presence. This evidence removes the work from the realm of exact projection of a precise mental construct, involving only forms which can be described mathematically and colors which have measurable, unvarying wavelengths. The “frailties,” then, of Avedisian’s pictures generate considerable affability, since his decorative aims are thus purged of Platonistic bombast and pretension. His color triads of pea green, violet, and blue, pink, rose, and red, or kelly green, grass green, and yellow may be wallowed in as pleasurably as their simple but intense harmonies allow. Avedisian’s interests in form alone are obviously secondary to his feeling for color, and so, while the possibility of a truly monumental decorative statement is excluded, a clear and unruffled exposition of coloristic sensuosity comes out the more strongly in compensation.

––Dennis Adrian