new-york

Donald Cole

55 Mercer Gallery

By chance last spring I was able to see Donald Cole’s work in his loft. At that time he was abutting stretched canvases which were striking by virtue of the degree of clash between the simple and strong patterns assigned to each rectangle. The pattern image was strong, not because it tied into Matisse but because it derived from something quite vulgar—decorative fabrics. Some of these works are included at Donald Cole’s exhibition at the 55 Mercer Street Co-Op, and I think they still constitute the bulk of his viable work. By contrast, the summer proved an enormously fertile period for the artist, a period during which he may personally have grown while commencing to work with non-stretcher-supported plastic paints. But the recent work, for all its experimental nature, has grown at the same time all the more derivative of and dependent upon artists who made the leap into this kind of

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