Rebecca Purdum

Jack Tilton Gallery

In shifting the palette of her large abstractions, Rebecca Purdum has managed to avoid the too-easy transcendence that her earlier work seemed to threaten. The paintings in Purdum’s last show, with their brushy bunched-up clouds of blues and whites and grays, suggested nothing so much as swirling turbulent mists of color about to part and reveal—what? Any answer seemed doomed to anticlimax. Now, though, Purdum has brought a broad range of color into her work, from reds and oranges to purples and greens. As a result there’s a new sense of emotion in these paintings, some of which seem impressionistic in their color effects; a blur of violet contends with a splash of lemon yellow in the small NYC 252, 1989, and flecks of red seep through a chilly pale blue in NYC 264, 1989.

There’s an almost dizzying, ecstatic sensuality to these paintings, recalling Monet’s light-shot seas of color. Purdum

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.