new-york

Deborah Kass

Baskerville + Watson

From the first tentative glance to the last lingering look they invite, Deborah Kass’ most recent paintings never cease to amaze. For those who have become accustomed to the artist’s landscapes, these works may come as a bit of a surprise. As a group, they do signal a shift away from nature and the recognizable world and back toward the more conceptual concerns of an even earlier body of work. In each of her paintings from 1980–81, a particular scene of rocks and water, inspired by Kass’ keen admiration for Paul Cézanne and her own observations of nature, is simultaneously fragmented and its expressive potential liberated by a dynamic box-in-box format, the leading formal motif of the series. In her paintings of the mid ’80s Kass broke through the boundaries of this rectangular format, isolating and abstracting elements from her earlier landscapes.

Now, in paintings such as Natural Symptom

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