new-york

James Bishop

Fischbach Gallery

James Bishop’s five new paintings at the Fischbach Gallery are as intense as the ones he showed two years ago were cool. Of the five canvases, all are square, and all but one done in burnt sienna hues. The odd painting is colored deep violet, highlighted with traces of pink.

In these new paintings Bishop seems more than ever to be trying for transparency of surface without space. In each painting the lower half of the canvas is uniformly empty. The upper half is taken up with a pair of flat square boxes defined more by facture than anything else. In three of the paintings the bands that define the squares are brushed with traces of a lighter hue, an effect which somehow does not look like modeling, except in the violet picture, where it looks like shading in negative. An almost stifling sense of fullness and tightness attends these paintings, and any hint of value difference attracts the

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