New York

Carol Kinne

Soho Center for Visual ARtists

I’m not sure how I feel about Carol Kinne’s paintings. Bob’s Double Decker Yellow Draw most definitively indicates the use of a system. A grid and divisions of its sections are drawn on a yellow ground. In each section an area is filled in in one of four hues—the fifth, a bright orange, appears as the wild card. For, as the title suggests, Kinne “draws” cards, number and suit ostensibly determining the shape and color of the filled-in areas. The exact rules of this process are unclear, but they don’t seem important. What stands out is the use of a method which circumvents esthetic choices of placement and denies qualitative considerations, one draw being no better than another. Even in other paintings, where the ground obscures the lines of the grid, the presence of a system is still felt. A border left around the ground accentuates the playing field, while the cutoff edges of the shapes hint at their grid location. Yet at the same time the arrangement of these shapes appears random, almost intuitive. A paradox incorporated in the method itself. As a means it implies an order, a systematic way of proceeding, drawing one card then another. But there is also the element of chance, of which card will follow which. Given such a system one could go on painting through numerous permutations. Varying the colors, perhaps even the specific rules. A question keeps nagging: isn’t this just as much a formula as anything else? And is it then perhaps only an excuse for making a painting? An acceptable structure. I wish I knew if there were something more.

Susan Heinemann