new-york

Robert Moskowitz

Hudson River Museum

To say that Robert Moskowitz has shifted from a Platonic idealism to a phenomenological concreteness is no doubt tantamount to walking around with an unusually big and tempting chip on one’s shoulder; yet that does seem the most accurate way of describing Moskowitz’s recent output.

The rear end of a car and an X (Cadillac/Chopsticks); a building and a cross (Wrigley Building); a cane and a hat (Retirement Painting)—the works from 1975–78 feature objects such as these floating in canvas space. This unanchored quality suggests the image seen in the mind’s eye, since only there can form be apprehended without foil, that is, without the gangue of contingent shapes. A viewer may stare rather sightlessly at these paintings, trying not so much to see as to be enlightened; but the veil of symbolism that interposes itself between the ineffable and the uninitiated never lifts, barely twitches. This

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