new-york

Lee Lozano

Whitney Museum of American Art

A group of eleven paintings by Lee Lozano in the small, main-floor gallery of the Whitney Museum is disturbing. Called “wave series paintings,” they emit a feeling of compulsive, systematic control, short-circuited somehow so the resulting works are curiously idiosyncratic. All but the last four paintings in the group appear as meticulously brushed curves painted in murky oils. The complex mind-dance about electromagnetic wave theory that accompanies them via a group of explanatory drawings does not mitigate their oppressive decorativeness, nor does the amount of physical ordeal involved in painting them (the later ones took up to 52 almost continuous working hours to complete).

The works are a visual put off. their surfaces reject penetration thanks to the aggressive opacity of the first four or five, and the highly reflective surfaces of the later, darker ones. More important, they are

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