New York

Stanley Boxer

André Emmerich Gallery

Stanley Boxer’s paintings give me pleasure. Not only do I find them a relief from the sophomoric ideologically oriented work pervasive in the art world today, but they serve as a reminder that the pleasure principle, with its primitive promesse du bonheur, is inescapable in art. Boxer is a virtuoso of sensual surface, mixing gestures and encrustrations with masterful bravura, abandon, and wit. Wild titles, such as Paradisicalsuccors, 1990, and Abraizedfondle, 1991, reflect this. Yet Boxer’s attitude to the erotic—the erotic act of painting as well as the eros generated by paint—seems ironical and self-mocking. That is, Boxer’s paintings are abstract drolleries flattened color orgasms, as it were.

Boxer does try to levitate and spatialize the surface through his use of various materials—some of which are too conspicuous for my taste, that is, unintegrated into the general painterliness—but

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