new-york

Philip Wofford

Frumkin/Adams Gallery

Philip Wofford’s paintings seem to exist at the very core of the enactment of the Abstract Expressionist impulse. Irrepressible texture, loosely associated with our unconscious drivenness, has become a kind of hysterical hemorrhaging of energy in his images. Perhaps Green Fuse, 1990—I take it to be an allusion to Dylan Thomas’ famous line about the force “that through the green fuse drives the flower”—makes the point succinctly: painterliness becomes primordial, and its forcefulness seems to mirror that inherent in nature—in our own natures.

What makes Wofford’s images especially significant—more so than conventional Expressionist work, in which paint is plastered on with masturbatory excitement—is that they convey what is implicit to genuine expression: the tendency to dissociative disintegration—to regressive representation. That is, Wofford’s violent blur—the peculiar disorganization of

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