New York

Cynthia Gallagher

Grace Borgenicht Gallery

This exhibition of five works from 1981 revealed a concentrated, constructively specific pictorial energy which expresses a thoroughly contemporary personal vision in active dialogue with the important Modernist tradition of “painterly” painting. It was an exhilarating display.

Greased Hip is typical of the approach and the methods. Like the other works here, it employs the risk-laden additive and subtractive process that Cynthia Gallagher introduced in 1980; she starts with a rectangular sheet of paper which she cuts into and adds to as she paints it. The result is a painting whose basic elements (structure, surface, image, edge) are in distinct but inseparable relationship to each other. The qualities of the materials—acrylic pigments, gels, modeling paste, the shaped-paper support—emerge clearly, and the paintings as a whole are more direct, push further toward the formal and emotional

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