Richard Kalina

Elizabeth McDonald Gallery

Richard Kalina’s work uses the vocabulary of Purism, the post-Cubist art developed after World War I by Amédée Ozenfant and Le Corbusier, as the visual and conceptual springboard for a plastic language very much of his own invention. Purism has often been considered a kind of stylized, conservative offspring of Cubism, a retreat from that movement’s radical approach to reality. Using the classic components of Purism—abstract planar elements, and still-life objects with full geometric forms and smoothly flowing contours—Kalina shows how the style instead embodies a high point in the desire for a synthesis in art between the real and the ideal. That desire for a reconciliation of art and life was strong among the different avant-gardes of the teens and ’20s, and remains embedded in the creative sensibility of the present. It is strikingly demonstrated, for example, in the recent paintings

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