new-york

Philip Wofford

Emmerich Gallery downtown

Philip Wofford, at Emmerich Downtown, employs a mouthful of methods—spray, drip, smear, and scrape—as if maximum surface excitation will add depth and variability to the paintings. But, like Rich, he cannot transcend his means of application. If the premise of the work were to create as uncontrolled and outlandish a picture as possible, his intentions would be realized in the use of garish colors and the lack of discrimination in placement. But Wofford is unable to reject his tasteful and sophisticated predilections, for he forms discrete shapes in what appears to be a last moment attempt to unify the picture. The wedding of scatological surfaces and more refined images is somewhat reminiscent of the enfant terrible pose of the late Dubuffet.

An important consideration in the adoption of any mode of working, it would appear, is that it is in accord with the conventions of the form. Wofford’s

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