New York

Diane Karol

55 Mercer Street

A related question arises with Diane Karol’s work. Is this a symptom of my jadedness? I’m tempted to describe Karol’s pieces as three-dimensional landscape paintings. Flying over Grass consists of tubes covered in stained fabric and suspended in an irregular arc from the ceiling. Below on the floor stand similar cylinders, varying in height, again wrapped with stained fabric. The colors are mainly yellow to green, arguing for the landscape reference. And I can’t get away from the sense of a pictorial notion transferred into space. As if placement in three dimensions were a guarantee of renewed interest. Another work has four columns, decorated with painted material, which stand in front of a wall hanging. The hanging is built up in horizontal layers of stained canvas segments sewn together, two large on the bottom, four narrower on top, a central strip echoing the columns by the inclusion of vertical bands. The washes of blue green to purple coloring, as well as the architectural format, suggest allusions to some kind of water monument—a sea temple perhaps. What seems important to Karol is the making of an image. And again I wonder whether I should be satisfied with the level of concerns in her art. Or that conditions of “contemporary art” are met. How, in what way, does a work go beyond this?

Susan Heinemann