New York

Larry Zox

Kornblee Gallery

At the Kornblee Gallery Larry Zox’s flattened, four-pointed stars, single or paired, were radiating a new accented openness of color. During and after his last show Zox evolved this inscribed star format as a less geometrically segmented and systematic, but more discrete and subtle means of projecting both quiet and saturated hues. While a. number of the paintings in this show are unexceptional (such as Weekapaug or Prudhoe, with their blandly white or black central images and tailored edging vectors in neutral shades like plum brown, subdued orange, or yellow ochre), the series as a whole provides an apt vehicle for Zox’s chromatic aims. And although he still tends to use arid or dulled tertiaries to complement a broad area of lovely, sometimes glittering or glossy brightness, the use of the simplified and inflected quadrilateral has enabled him to carry off these combinations with an ease which can belie their complexity. I am pleased by the way in which these paintings are less visually laboring for the viewer than some of Zox’s earlier energized geometrical works.

Shagwong is one of the more ambitious canvases, 22 feet long with a bare off-white expanse stretching along its central section and each end filled with a star shape that is both optically frontal and yet is laterally spatial within the field, a curious and difficultly qualified or described effect. For this is also a very flat picture; the two stars block off the extreme longitudinal extension of the image in yellow and are surrounded on three sides by shallow triangular inflections of red, aqua green, grey, and scarlet. Their high-keyed and advancing light color prevents these forms from weighting the ends or driving them back into space, and yet they do deliberately call attention to the literal internal and external limits of the canvas by the way in which they laterally cross-refer and balance across its space.

A suite of excellent and beautifully silkscreened prints were on display in the back room. These were based on the 1967–8 Diamond Drill series, composed of interpenetrating diamond shapes and zigzagged open channels of a luscious range of colors which take on an added intensity with the smallish format.

Emily Wasserman