New York

David Diao and Joel Shapiro

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Two exhibitions of high merit opened at Paula Cooper: acrylic paintings by David Diao and shelves displaying substances by Joel Shapiro. In both of these artists the problems of acute modernity are sensible and, at times, resolved less than idiosyncratically, at least insofar as Joel Shapiro is concerned.

David Diao, for a few years now, has been devoted to wet field painting—emphasizing tonalist experiences in highly delimited ranges of color spread out upon a large canvas. The lyricism and the cloudiness are, on an obvious level, something too conventionally assigned to an Eastern ancestry—although it clearly announces in Diao’s work, as well as in all second generation color painting, not only an immediate continuity from Rothko and Frankenthaler, but a much older one stemming from the musical exercises of Whistler from the later 1870s and 1880s. The present Diao especially strikes one

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