Like most willful acts of artistic repetition, from Warholian or Minimalist serialization to Agnes Martin’s slow crawl through the grid, Jonathan Lasker’s relatively stable morphology may befuddle more restless souls. Though Lasker’s works hardly constitute heroic models of painterly innovation, his manipulations of a relatively fixed vocabulary of discrete abstract elements—his signature pudgy crayon-colored impastos and dense black calligraphic snarls—coupled with his extreme reduction of painting to simple relationships between figure and ground, somehow always prove exciting.
Lasker’s paintings begin with a flat solid-colored ground—in this recent group either a pastel primary or lavender—over which he lays flat black lines and thickly painted networks that are so clearly separated from the ground that they look as if they could be peeled away from the surface in one piece. In To an
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