San Francisco

Dan Connally

Gallery Paule Anglim

At a glance, the six medium-size paintings Dan Connally showed here could be taken as luxuriant, though somewhat private, meditations on the pleasures and pressures of 20th-century style. Some consist of cubistic planar grids, reactivated and jumbled so as to suggest seismic distress. Or, where the grid bursts open in glowing shafts and forward clusters of pigment-as-surface-and-edge, what is recalled is that moment in the ’40s when Abstract Expressionism emitted its earliest hybrids, budding bravely out from under the Euro-Modernist mulch.

Connally’s pictures project a self-conscious, heterodox incipience. They recapitulate the vibrancy of certain favored moments in art history when a new ripeness was ready to spill over—early Cubism, proto-action painting, and even the unfussed form and color associated with the Sienese quattrocento. Thus, their impetus isn’t private or nostalgic at all.

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