new-york

John Seery

Emmerich Gallery downtown

John Seery, at the Emmerich Downtown, seems to be wrestling with divergent tendencies in his painting. On the one hand, he is trying to break out of conventional picture-making by approaching the chaotic through a multiplicity of techniques, forms, and colors. On the other hand, he is forced to include several constructs, either compositional devices or repeated colors, to unify the disorder. His paintings thus vacillate between chaotic order and ordered chaos, producing lusciousness at their best, and garishness at their worst.

The use of spraying, soaking, staining, brushing, and splattering within the same painting demonstrates Seery’s desire to activate the picture surfaces in as many ways as possible. But with all these techniques, there are many visceral impulses or inbred taste preferences that carry over in form from canvas to canvas. The uniformity of the wavelike configurations,

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