new-york

William Schwedler

The Clocktower

William Schwedler’s recent paintings are done on plywood, molded into large S-shapes, or, at their simplest, into convex and concave arcs. Hung horizontally, their streamlined curves hug the wall as a good set of tires hugs the road. Indeed, there is much about the work that evokes classic automobile-ad copy: phrases such as “aerodynamic styling” feel absolutely right applied to Schwedler’s visual concerns, which manage, like the cars the copy describes, to look brand new while remaining comfortably traditional.

Schwedler’s paintings are unquestionably abstract. They are also undeniably metropolitan; his composition has a jazzy tensile rhythm that could serve as a visual analogue for a good bebop riff. The gessoed and painted surfaces are activated by a highway system of charcoal webs that pull together discrete areas of collage. Recurrent decorative rest stops include affectionately

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 1981 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.