New York

Alexander Liberman

André Emmerich Gallery

For a number of years, Alexander Liberman seems to have been working toward something ambiguous, searching, step by step, exploring through controlled experiment, as if working out some unknown problem, working through a block. His background is Abstract Expressionist—large, simple geometric paintings of rectangles and triangles in dynamic arrangements—a kind of loose Newman. I think back to those paintings, and remember their authoritative confidence. Liberman’s next step was a confused synthesis of the gestural and the geometric—a triangle standing on its point that was really an accumulation of small, nervous paint strokes. The question was whether these were geometries disintegrating, or gestures composing themselves. The answer, in a new suite of paintings, is that freedom for Liberman has meant freedom from geometric structure. These paintings are all stroke.

This is a reversal, an

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