houston

Jim Hatchett

G.V.G. Gallery

Jim Hatchett’s stark, flat paintings of the past several years evoke limitless space, although they are moored at their centers by nichelike areas of applied materials. His recent works are even more reductive and astringent; they are marked by a dissolve between background and foreground. Painted on canvas or scrap wood, they are assembled of materials scavenged from deserts, alleyways, and older buildings. But these castaway remnants are so coherently integrated with the canvases and boards that they collapse distinctions between atmospheric space, walls, panels—and votive offerings.

These are incantatory works; Hatchett refers to them as “desert altars.” They are based on a rectilinear order that affords stability, equilibrium, and harmony. The paintings possess the potential for infinite expansion beyond their incidental edges. But Hatchett erodes his idealized format with irregularities:

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