New York

Paul Huxley

Kornblee Gallery

Paul Huxley derives his motif from the rectangular solid, in most instances, the cube. The motif is viewed either two dimensionally as a square, or in an ambiguous dimension, that is, as a six-sided figure, the gestalt of a cube projected isometrically with all the interior edges painted out, flat and opaque. These motifs are then set up in tangent sequences one above the other, or one beside the other in diagonal drifts across the face of large, square canvases—often resulting in eccentrically shaped grounds. The 2-D compositions are then painted in hard and, if anything, it is the color above all else which puts one off. Huxley’s chromatic range tends to the acidic and the bilious, each color shot through with heavy admixtures of green. There is something particularly unyielding about vast, opaque figures painted chartreuse. And this coloristic recalcitrance is even more obtuse when set off by flat rectangles of magenta or persimmon. Moreover, the casting of blues along green lines makes for particularly antipathetic passages of Cerulean and Prussian. In Huxley’s work, this coloristic stubbornness has an almost savage self-importance. To the American this semi-tropical color suggests a near parodistic wit vis-a-vis the Floridian textiles of circa 1950. But one can hardly credit Huxley, who is after all, British, with such an inflexibly staged piece of obliqueness. Perhaps Huxley’s color is a misfired makeshift all the more deflated in the face of a motif which seems, by contrast, almost searching.

Robert Pincus-Witten