New York

Bill Komoski

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

With Milow one has a sense of fresh snow on an old trail; with Bill Komoski the snow has turned to slush. There’s the same expressive swirl in Komoski (the swirl is clearly in this season—a sort of modified expressionist spill, controlled to the point of swagger); and I’d almost swear that certain strategies in the deployment of paint, from marshaling the strokes like lines of force in a military battle diagram to using them to despoil (or unpack, depending on how you want to see it) a scene, were also the same in Komoski and Milow. But Komoski is an arrogant virtuoso, drawing with dapper grandeur and with a sophisticated awareness of the expansive potential of line. Through its very longness, its ability to sustain itself, line can seem to generate everything, creating a sense of continuity beyond what it encompasses or conveys.

Milow’s matrix of strokes never achieves as high a degree of flexibility as Komoski’s. And Komoski’s matrix hatches shapes that are geometrically both pure and impure, as if to relieve us from the boredom of the self-adumbrating, endlessly proliferating line. Komoski is really a master craftsman, someone with the absolute integrity that comes from a commitment to a technical performance—but with no true sense of the dialectical potential within the convention of which that performance is a partial demonstration. Indeed, being all too purely demonstrative, Kornoski cannot begin to imagine the ambiguity of demonstrativeness. He is too ingenious an artist, too resourceful, to suffer (let alone respect) any uncertainties, even those contained in a convention.