Los Angeles

Marc Pally

Ulrike Kantor Gallery

Refinement, exactitude, and maturity may not be the qualities most prized at this moment, but the new work of Marc Pally demonstrates that the hybrid materials and pastel pop-culture colors preferred by his generation may yet serve as the basis for disciplined, carefully considered formal statements. While the essential character of his work has been retained, Pally’s use of raw and veneered wood in constructed paintings, his now careful, now ragged integration of pigment, wood, and graphite, his focus on the processes of change as an image moves from a drawing to a painting to a three-dimensional object—all have gained a marked degree of clarity and authority.

Where the work had been playful and charming it is now calm, beautifully integrated, and possessed of a clearly stated yet complex identity. Individual works are memorable, their physical profiles pared for dramatic emphasis and their surfaces enriched rather than embellished by textured pigments and gestural marks. Pally has stated his central theme, the connections and contradictions in form as an image moves from two to three dimensions and back again, with a new confidence arising from the work itself. There is nothing dry or didactic about it. He has not retreated into minimalism but has seemingly regained a bit of that clear-eyed self-awareness that made minimalist concepts so influential upon subsequent generations.

Taut, barely visible lines of drawn and painted color run along the indented tracks of wood and canvas marking the joints of his constructions. Rubbed planes of pigment on wood are enriched with graphite. Pally’s preferences for lush, complex situations and surfaces still exist, but the work has matured in one broad step and he can now say much more with less.

Susan C. Larsen