new-york

Thomas Nozkowski

Max Protetch

It’s a considerably more delicate problem than usual to articulate the unity of viewpoint or sensibility that is nonetheless everywhere palpable in Thomas Nozkowski’s paintings. These small abstract paintings, and only slightly smaller drawings, combine rectilinear geometry with biomorphic wobbliness as easily as their facture ranges from the most feinschmecking scumbling to correctly Modern hard-edged directness. Each painting is the result of many pentimenti, visible as traces within the surface, though the results show no evidence of vacillation; every image feels decisive, precise, as immediately but surprisingly “right” as a good punchline.

Though never weighed down by piety toward art history, the paintings are full of graceful allusions to precursors. In a yellow and black painting of 1992, the flowing, overlapping winglike forms recall Georges Braque’s birds; in the nearly all-white

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