new-york

Gregory Amenoff

Hirschl & Adler Galleries

Even though Gregory Amenoff apparently still believes in content, he is one of the best painters around. The content—weirdly involuted, abstract forms that resemble microorganisms—becomes a vehicle for the sultry, turbulent density of Amenoffs painterliness. Like all good painterliness, his is emblematic of an emotional state, in his case one fraught with a tension that seems about to burst its bounds. Indeed, without the containment and control provided by organic shape, Amenoff’s painterliness would be blindly impulsive, a kind of vertiginous swirl of violent energy. His paint seems propelled by an ecstatic urgency. As in the best instinctive painting, there is a sense of ecstatic response to the mystery of nature—a kind of onomatopoeic recapitulation, in painterly terms, of its generative power.

The wish for transcendence through ecstasy is an archaic one, and also the primary motivating

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