New York

Joan Thorne

The Clocktower

A timeworn but timely verse came to mind upon seeing Joan Thorne’s new work: “Waste not, want not. . . . for you never miss the water till the well runs dry.” This stanza could appropriately be the Marseiliaise of international ecology and probably occurred to me because of the prodigal use of paint that makes Thorne’s canvases look so insouciantly luxurious. In recent years there’ve been a lot of artists who are part of the thick-paint school—Joe Zucker, Mary Grigoriadis, Cynthia Carlson—but Thorne certainly deserves the position of doyenne, for her paintings are the most extreme example of conspicuous consumption.

On view: nine paintings, largish, of carefully premeditated complexity. Description is difficult because the profusion of color and line makes a painting impossible to focus upon. Description of parts of paintings is possible, not their wholes. Thorne apparently applies paint

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