New York

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

John Weber Gallery

The question about Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe’s new abstract paintings is not whether they’re good or bad, but whether or not it is valid to make them today. This question has nothing to do with the fact that they look outdated, if elegant; it is not a response to the current whirlpool of artistic opinion that favors alternately figural “expression” and semiotic “wit.” Rather, the issue is whether the language of these pieces still works to give us the illusion of revealing secret yet inevitable meanings, “metaphysical” truths available only by implication or innuendo. Behind art’s self-justifying myth of autonomy is a subtle search for realms of connotation not available through other means; abstract art has bogged down not because it has become art-historical—Gilbert-Rolfe’s work expands “the planar dimension” toward spatial illusionism through extremely dramatic color contrasts and perspectival

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