New York

Edward Dugmore

Green Mountain Gallery

Edward Dugmore has been painting in what is recognizably an Abstract Expressionist mode for about fifteen years. His current show is distinguished by highly personal draftsmanship that carries his work beyond nostalgia. Dugmore’s line is scratchy, drippy and sure. With brush or crayon, he limns in rounded, crotchy female forms. Buttocks, breasts and hips butt against each other like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The drawing is vigorous. Sometimes aloft, sometimes sagging, it gives the gross forms a feeling of inflated weightlessness. When line dominates, as in two or three larger can-vases of 1970 that are simply primed linen filled with characteristic black-outlined shapes, .the paintings click with a vitality undimmed by historical reference. Other works, where the canvas is clogged with paint, subside into overworked reminiscence.

Dugmore’s most recent work includes collage. Some of the larger ones look like the paintings at first glance. Their forms and finish are much the same. Shapes have been cut out of canvas and glued on another working surface, then melded together with white paint, traces of color and black line so they become almost indistinguishable from the paintings. Others are more tactile, less illusionistic. In them, matte canvas forms are set together in mosaic fashion with a thin edge of daylight in between—and some paint action visible underneath. These lack the spine of his line completely.

The most effective collages are small, almost-drawings cut up and glued together in rectangular vignettes or carried beyond drawing by the judicious use of a few pieces of brown paper that act as colored areas. Again, their strength depends completely on the extent that drawing dominates them. The fact that they are collages is beside the point.

Kasha Linville