new-york

Robert Swain and Stylianos Gianakos

Fischbach Gallery

Robert Swain’s group of glowing rainbow-grid paintings from 1967 at the Fischbach Gallery came to me as a great surprise when I recalled the rather mechanical and stiffer three-color harmony canvases he had shown at the Park Place Gallery a few years back. Although still working with an admittedly rigid set of limitations, Swain has moved a long way in his ability to get beyond the mere mechanics of an organizational system, allowing a new bloom and extended range of color to sustain the expression of his work.

Concerned with a means to project colors intensely and expansively without divorcing them from either physical grounding or format, Swain assembles his big rectangular paintings (about 8 by 20 feet) with differently colored 13-inch squares (each individually stretched), whose particular size allows enough space for the eye to relate each one to the four adjacent blocks along its

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