chicago

Mitchell Kane

Robbin Lockett Gallery

Mitchell Kane’s new paintings are at once marginal and authoritative. Nine recent works constituted this exhibition, of which five, occupying Lockett’s rear-gallery “inner sanctum,” functioned as a kind of installation. The works gathered in the rear gallery were called “Margin Paintings”: 7-by-5-foot rectangles of aluminated rubberized canvas on stretchers, with an approximately 15-inch-wide vertical band of enamel on gesso—executed in shades of white, brown, chestnut, orange, or yellow—occupying each painting’s right-hand edge. There is a superficial resemblance here to the austere painted fields of Barnett Newman. But the greater visible portion of Kane’s paintings is the rubber-coated canvas, whose dusty brown, slightly scuffed slickness resists misreading as paint. Kane’s painted areas, too, are involved in a different chromatic rhetoric than Newman’s purist primaries. The younger

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