New York

Futura 2000


Here, Futura 2000 showed 12 paintings that were all very similar in type. In each, brightly colored circles cover the ground in an allover pattern of almost equal density everywhere. According to the gallery handout, these circles were to represent gears, planets, time, and musical notation, or an “X ray [of] the mainspring of the cosmos.” Such cosmic intentions went well enough with the sublime Abstract Expressionist “allover” styles of thirty years ago, but Futura 2000’s post-Abstract Expressionist doodlings are too lightweight, too plainly decorative and predictable, to convincingly convey any serious content. The flashily airbrushed geometric shapes float upon monochromatic grounds in a trite summation of various abstractionist motifs, from Wassily Kandinsky’s arcing contours and pure splotches of color to Jackson Pollock’s networks of poured lines. Yet Futura 2000 seems not to understand the seriousness that underlies the best abstract painting. He has extracted tame, popularized elements of the tradition and mixed them together into mild psychedelic postcards. This work is about as empty as painting can get. Its form is derivative, its content faked. It seems a self-satisfied and complacent gesture toward a biddable market, either embarrassingly naive or distressingly cynical, or more probably and worse yet, both.

Thomas McEvilley