New York

Stuart Diamond

David McKee Gallery

How much should one's knowledge of the artist's life affect one's evaluation of his work? I used to think the two should be entirely separate, and that still seems like a good rule of thumb when dealing with Morris Louis, Frank Stella or Kenneth Noland––artists who make very formal work. But with more idiosyncratic work, knowledge of the person may shed light on the work.

The seven wildly painted constructions in Stuart Diamond’s recent show trace their art historical ancestry directly to Schwitters’ Merz constructions of the early ’20s. Like Schwitters, Diamond collects pieces of wood, broken toys, fragments of perforated board, wire mesh, fabric, metal, all sorts of cast-off objects from the streets and brings them back to his studio. These objects and fragments, other people’s discards, are the raw materials for Diamond’s work, and indeed some of them do eventually find their way into

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