New York

Peter Saari and Gordon David Wine

Lamagna Gallery

Peter Saari makes paintings which look like bits and pieces of ancient Rome. They simulate fragments of wall paintings, grave steles and shrines, the corner of a room from Pompeii, an end wall of an Etruscan tomb and spearheads of decayed copper and iron. These items are all paint on canvas, with plaster, gravel or dust where needed. The results are appropriately decayed, with pale, flaking surfaces. The geometric designs, images, colors and architectural details are equally convincing; Saari has obviously researched his topic thoroughly and some of the pieces are complete with museum registration numbers. Walking into the gallery is a bit like walking into the Metropolitan. The single most amazing aspect of this achievement is the sense of weight which these chunks of masonry convey.

It may be possible to think about Saari’s work in terms of abstract painting’s concern with certain kinds

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