Jonathan Borofsky

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Jonathan Borofsky’s immense influence on so wide a spectrum of contemporary artists (both in this country and in Europe) derives more from the permission he gives himself to do everything imaginable (and from having the guts to do it) than from any identifiable plastic style. He may be the least stylized artist of his generation, or, for that matter, of any of the immediately succeeding ones. His decade-long count to psychic depletion has had an incomparable cumulative effect on recent art, but singling out the specific works that make up that effect remains a puzzling task. Borofsky engages in a ruthless, conscious disruption of any single, synthetic comprehension of his work; his fugue of thematic representations, of symbolic dialectics, is contrapuntal and atonal—every high note has at least one corresponding low one, and there is no melody.

Seeing this show, then, was as usual a scramble

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