new-york

On Karawa

Sperone Westwater Fischer

After Lawson and Fischl, On Karawa looks dated, naively objective. His work also uses old strategies combining chance and seriality, as well as a Minimalist sense of environmental placement. Dates seemingly chosen at random—March 20, 1981, April 3, 1981, and May 26, 1981, in one series (three dates constitute a series)—are painted on canvas and arranged at regular intervals on the walls of an otherwise empty room, whose space is thus thrown into compelling relief. The pieces themselves—their color seems lovelier, more silken than usual for Karawa—become hypnotic despite being matter-of-fact (this is so even when we know that Karawa keeps “journals” of newspaper clippings of events occurring on the exhibited dates). A date seems to invite us to remember the day, which does nothing to undermine or complicate the date’s abstractness as a neutral sign and the work’s abstractness as a useless

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