new-york

Jonathan Lasker

Sperone Westwater

Perhaps the most interesting thing about a Jonathan Lasker painting is its title, or more particularly, the disjunction between title and work. Without the pseudointellectual titles—The Outsides Are In, Moral Fantasia, Between Theory and Reality, Reverse Society, The Pride of Being, The Value of Pictures—the works are simply samples of clever craft. The titles make the works more provocative—more “visionary”—than they otherwise would be. Or do they? For I think a good part of their point is to emphasize that the titles don’t have anything essential to do with the paintings as actually painted: they are excess baggage on works that are nothing but bags of technical tricks.

Lasker embraces the anti-intellectual idea that the work is simply its making—not the meaning that informs the making and that the making gives rise to. A Laskerwork is simply an act: it mocks Clyfford Still’s notion of

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