new-york

Marilyn Lerner

John Good Gallery

A statement by Olga Rozanova, one of the leading figures of the early-20th-century Russian avant-garde, kept running through my mind as I looked at the paintings in this show: “The esthetic value of an abstract painting consists in the fullness of its pictorial contents.” This statement, published in the catalogue of an exhibition held in Moscow in 1919, seems especially useful to consider now, some 70 years later, given the trend these days that finds a number of artists striving to put back into abstract painting what the reductive Minimal and Conceptual tendencies dominant in the ’60s and ’70s had taken out. Marilyn Lerner, to my eye, is one of the most daring of this group. Through her own finely tuned sensitivity to the emblematic potentials of form and a broad range of influences, from her trips to Asia and studies of Tantric philosophy and Javanese gamelan music to the Russian

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