New York

Robert Harms

Klarfeld Perry Gallery

Robert Harms’ lyrical abstract paintings are almost embarassingly beautiful. His palette (cerulean, bright-white, orange-orange, ultraviolet, acid-yellow, primeval-green) suggests all the naive and concentrated joy of a child with a brand new watercolor set. Harms creates his abstractions from nature: the landscapes of the Hamptons have quite clearly inspired each vision. The titles (Under the Trees, 1991, A Pond in the Woods, 1990) straightforwardly attest to this. Judged on palette or inspiration, then, the work seems far from fashionable and unlikely to surprise. It would seem to lack the sophistication of one who keeps his eye on the latest news.

Good paintings, however, make their own rules, and these are good paintings. Fairfield Porter, Edward Hopper, and Wolf Kahn proved themselves not in their relationship to culture, but apart from it, in their own isolated worlds. So too with

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