new-york

Donald Baechler

Paul Kasmin Galery / Baron/Boisanté

Distinguished by their idiosyncratic infantilism and the richness of their surfaces, the compositions Donald Baechler exhibited at Paul Kasmin last spring reveal the artist as a master of the sloppy line, the crazy shape, and the deranged dot. Baechler uses collage, ink, gesso, flashe, coffee, and pencil on paper to create these masterfully messy compositions, which interpolate the flattened-out schizophrenic space of his larger works with a new delicacy and concision.

Two compositions, each entitled Crowds (all works 1990), are the strongest in this show. In one, primitive heads made up of a circle, two dots for eyes, and horizontal and vertical bars for the nose and mouth, fill out the space on the page like a cell culture in a petri dish. The flatness that Baechler is known for works on the dual levels of form and content in these pieces, once again demonstrating that those two aspects

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