New York

Peter Stroud

Max Hutchinson Gallery

Peter Stroud is hampered by a sensibility predicated on a sage and tempered asseveration, a sensibility which by its fine hesitation has led to a high geometrical abstraction which appears to be dissatisfying even to the artist himself, precisely because the demands of this ever-unsatisfied and self-chastening hyperesthesia can never be met. American color painting, one of the sources of Stroud’s art, indicates a means whereby the artist may overcome his vitiating tendency for delicacy and affinement. The other strain of Stroud’s painting comes from a longer tradition, English geometrical abstraction in the persons of late Pasmore, Nicholson and Honneger. The latter is sensible in terms of monochromism and raised geometrical figuration. The hesitant Constructivist note struck in Stroud’s painting can be traced to the former figures.

Stroud composes in squarish areas which carefully respect vertical-horizontal coordinates. The horizontal is expressed as a raised thin ridge painted in a more intense variant of the ground hue. This is additionally modified by two factors—the invisible vertical (of binary or tripartite compositions) made manifest by the coming up short at them by the horizontal ridges and by the shadows cast upon the surface by these thin layers.

Ultimately one is more intellectually engrossed in the option away from the English relief and possibly the adieu to this kind of esthetic procrastination as represented by the American coloration rather than by these really quite lovely works in themselves.

Robert Pincus-Witten