New York

Charles Ross

John Weber Gallery

Grandeur in a work of art does not necessarily follow from the grandeur or monumentality of its content, or of the idea behind it. In fact, there can be a kind of inverse relation between a picture and its conceptual course, whereby the picture is made to seem small and insignificant if it is not absolutely and authoritatively greater than the world it shows. Thus Charles Ross stacks the deck against himself when he proposes to paint whole years full of time or, in his current show, the entire cosmos. Both his major undertakings, his solar burns of several years ago and his recent stellar maps, rely on our instinctive tendency to be overwhelmed by colossal ideas: of infinite space, or of vast stretches of time described by the minute passage of seconds. In so doing his work ignores our need to be overwhelmed by the object at hand—it leaves the eye out and undermines itself.

Ross is not

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