New York

Alan Cote, John Walker, David Diao, Robert Zakanych, and Lynton Wells

Cunningham Ward Gallery

Of the five painters exhibited in Cunningham-Ward’s show of gallery artists, Alan Cote and John Walker seem the most venturesome. Cote and Walker are at least prepared to entertain the idea that painting might have to see itself as more than an affair of internal relationships if it is to retain its viability as a context of communicability, as an activity within which more goes on than the manipulation of those inherited notions of good taste that the best art of recent years has seriously undermined.

Walker’s Untitled, 1973 is the largest painting in the show, and in many respects the hardest to like. Predominantly black, it’s painted with thick acrylic paint that is in some places laid on with considerable gestural emphasis, and in others subjected to what looks like the imposition of a wire mesh that has been pressed on, and then withdrawn. Around the bottom left corner of the canvas,

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