new-york

Matthew Weinstein

Sonnabend Gallery

Matthew Weinstein’s newest work underlines the curious fact that a young artist does not always develop most propitiously by becoming more “mature.” It is quite possible to progress by means of regression; art must be able to retreat, consciously, to unself-consciousness, however false. Weinstein’s giddy, sexual, sometimes psychedelic new paintings made me realize that his earlier work was trying too hard to be serious and consistent, to create a signature style that in and of itself would communicate some content with an inarguable claim to the viewer’s attention. Recent discussions of “content” or “meaning” in contemporary art generally, and in abstract painting particularly, have tended to obscure the fact that what counts, usually, is to eschew or better yet explode meaning—since the problem in our culture has never been a deficiency of meaning but, rather, a surplus of it.

As long ago

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