New York

John Torreano, Elizabeth Murray; Marilyn Lenkowsky, David Reed, Herbert Schiffrin

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

It’s taken me a while to get to a point where I can begin to appreciate John Torreano’s paintings. Torreano makes paintings out of oil paint and plastic diamonds, and I must say it’s very nice to see the medium revered by every painterly pedant around subjected to this kind of interpenetration by dreck. Unfortunately, conventional spirituality’s rape by banality is only engaging when the context thereby ceases to be banal, as is not always the case with Torreano’s work.

With the paintings that are rounded off at either end, however, it is. In these Torreano seems to have found a format which is responsive to the optical capacity of the deep color that he employs to pull you into the pictorial space. The fluid continuity of the edge responds to the movement into the space of the painting that’s suggested by the color, and this gives the diamonds something to do. In the curved paintings the

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