new-york

Michael David

Hamilton Gallery

Michael David’s wax and oil paintings air a Victorian heroine’s modest yet expectant certainty of homage to her beauty. Nevertheless, one comes away impressed by the intelligence which manufactures their beauty: they are so modulated, so balanced, so fair, trained to accommodate many different tastes without appearing compromised. They delight in surface but believe in form—cut-out or raised planes intersect the visceral wax buildup; they are thematically steadfast and reasonable, reassuringly reverting to an earlier concern—the cruciform—but attenuating it, discretely alluding to it rather than insisting on it. They are cultured, they can compare and contrast Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still or Ellsworth Kelly and Morris Louis with convincing authority. And they are finely sensitive, even (subtly) erotic, appreciative, for instance, of the unyielding hardness of the cross against the

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 January 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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