New York

Philip Wofford

David Whitney Gallery

Philip Wofford’s exhibition is so beautiful that it little matters just how much Olitski and Poons there is in these paintings. The central issue for Wofford is the fat field as it has emerged so brilliantly and rapidly these past two years. The pictures, with their vivid and dense impastoes, sudden shifts from sheer evanescence to bulky clot and crust, are sensuously dizzying and satisfying. In addition to the highly variegated surface and private range of geyser-like, soft colors, Wofford employs a very tricky kind of canvas shaping. Edges arc, sway, shrink back—but only just slightly, so as to make it possible to avoid reading the perimeter as a shape (and possibly as an object) but just enough to make it clear through this obliquity that an arena of sensitization has been demarcated. The paintings are almost rectangular fields—but never in any stringent geometrical sense.


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