New York

Robert Mason

CDS Gallery

Robert Mason expects the power of the gesture to overcome (to disguise?) his sentimental staging of the figure, but it doesn’t quite do so, because it’s equally sentimental, if in a different way Mason usually gives us an introspective, almost brooding female nude surrounded—at times almost engulfed—by the demonstrative, “male” gestures, which look sometimes waxed down, at other times like bravura smears of greasy kid stuff.

I don’t mean to be irreverent, but I do want to communicate a sense of the excess of these gestures. I love abandonment to excess, but not when it’s meaningless, peculiarly irrelevant excess. Willem de Kooning’s various “Women” pictures show us meaningful excess; the gestures constitute the figure in the very act of scooping it out. Mason’s gestures drape it in what might be described an ominous, voluptuous way, but they do not truly make or unmake it; rather, they help

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