new-york

Archie Rand

Scott Hanson Gallery

Archie Rand’s new paintings (all works 1990) are coy, cunning reprises and combinations of modernist experiments with accident and order. Works such as Double and Wisp feature seemingly spontaneous, but in fact stylized, calligraphic gesture metamorphosing into intriguing patterns. Predictable in detail, but not in their general design, these configurations spread insecurely. In other works, such as Alpha, Mat, and Rest, the spread of gesture—sometimes tightly coiled, at other times loosely brushed — threatens to overwhelm given patterns. There is more to these works, however, than their perceptual ingeniousness; they convey a sense of melancholy, one might say the melancholy of post-Modernist undecidability, that is augmented by a somber palette of black, white, and gray. Reduced to decadent delicacies, Modernist elements are fused to generate new visual intensities but make no decisive

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