New York

Nicholas Maffei

M-13 Gallery

Nicholas Maffei’s abiding interest in the relationship between light and dark (both as pictorial fact and as metaphorical presence), coupled with his imaginative articulation of organic forms, suggest the early influence of Bill Jensen more than that of either Minimalism or Pop art. In his recent paintings, however, in which he lays down thick layers of black paint and then scratches through the tarlike surfaces until the white under-painting reveales itself in slightly wavering lines, Maffei has entered a territory all his own.

Like Maffei’s earlier works, the recent compositions are symmetrical and tend to rely on large, centrally located images. However, while his earlier paintings were influenced by American Modernists such as Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove, his recent works seem more gritty and urban. This is due not only to the black paint’s resemblance to roofing tar, but to the

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.