new-york

Deborah Kass

Simon Watson

Deborah Kass’ paintings appropriate subject matter from other 20th-century artists, pop culture, and literature. Although diverse, none of the sources are particularly novel. Some of the paintings, in which thinly stained backgrounds in decorator colors are overlaid with the black outline of an exposed and willingly-available-for-abuse female nude, harken disconcertingly back to David Salle. Other works incorporating white drips on empty expanses of black quote Jackson Pollock’s transcendental abstraction directly. Still others are derived from cartoons, naively painted kitschy landscapes, and art-historical styles such as Cubism or Impressionism.

In the painting Hear See Speak, 1990, a panel depicting the baboonlike posterior of a female nude that refers to Salle’s work is combined with two other images. The first is a pair of Victorian women, one with her fingers on the other’s mouth in

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