New York

Peter Young

Goldowsky Gallery

It was obvious from his fat dotted paintings on puzzle-figured grounds how deeply into problems derived from the all-overness of Abstract Expressionism Peter Young had gone in 1968. These pictures, still his most mature efforts I believe, were succeeded by smaller canvases tipped into lozenges, monochromatically grounded and maculated with constellations of dots, further clarifying Young’s relationship to late Monet, who is, after all, the progenitor of the all-over problem. Like many seeking artists, Young also appears to have recognized how hollow the tradition of high abstraction to which he had been committed appears to have become. Perhaps as a result of this attitude, Young’s painting has now given way to a kinky crafts in which the materiality of epoxy paint is extenuated into dipped, dried, cracked, facetted, shattered and strung lengths of pure paint treated as beads. Epoxy Murano.

Perhaps the enormously positive reception of Young’s dot paintings had proved too deeply threatening, so that a Calder-like ploy (jewelry) is functioning as a stalling device, employed by the artist in order to postpone serious problems. I’ll go along with all this to the degree that these strands may make us aware of the relationship of jewelry to small, limp sculpture. But what flip casuistry! If Young persists in this frittering—pieces too of buckled bark bespattered with epoxy drip, sections of sofas and tee shirts soiled in the execution—then, whatever the modish highwater mark of 1968 was, it will have been washed over by this oblique, sub-shoot devotion to process.

Robert Pincus-Witten