New York

Herbert Perr

Myers Gallery

At the newly relocated Myers Gallery, Herbert Perr showed a series of large rectangular paintings assembled from small, individually stretched and painted squares of canvas. Considering the issues invoked by allowing real space to incise the paintings’ surface, Perr seems unnecessarily preoccupied with the sort of lyrical color and abstraction found in paintings made more straightforwardly. Each of the small squares in Perr’s paintings has its own pictorial space; all the swatches of space are hazy and dense due to thin washes of paint and within each painting the same ground color is used on all the small squares. In most of these works, and especially in Boron where the colors are most acid, a pleasing pattern of spatial feints and recesses is set up but not much else happens. Having effectively brought edges within the painting, Perr does not seem to have regarded crossing these edges as problematic; occasionally there will be a streak of impastoed color crossing a crack, but this can’t be construed as a solution.

The strongest point in Perr’s recent works is perhaps the implication that the component squares are permutable; in this sense a tension is established between the optical spaces within the painting and the potentially sculptural space of the painting as an object. But Perr is presently several giant, steps from Stella territory.

Kenneth Baker