New York

Michael Goldberg

Sonnabend Gallery

It is a simple grammar of form, in the work of Michael Goldberg, that allows for its complex statement, and it is the necessity of material and process that allows for its strong freedom.

Goldberg works with bare stretched canvas on the floor—a simple method but with complex results, for, directly, the disposition of the work is problematic. We are unsure whether we look down upon a surface of forms, like a table, or at a (more conventional) vertical image of figure and ground. It seems to be both a collagelike abstraction and a landscape or architectural image.

Goldberg masks out areas of canvas with torn tape, then primes and paints them. The thickness of the paint varies, even within the same area of color. Drawing with tape seems, by now, basic, but, again, the results are complex. Here a line may be a physical edge of masses of paint, and there an immaterial zone of bled color. Moreover,

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