east-hampton

Ross Bleckner

Guild Hall Museum

Selected from work ranging from 1985 to the present, this show consisted of some two hundred small paintings, mostly on canvas but a few on paper, as well as a single large painting (made specifically for this exhibition) representing the brick wall of Ross Bleckner’s studio with a number of the works shown here laminated onto it. The paintings may be rough and informal or, more often, quite elaborately worked, but in either case tend to project their autonomy and their contingency at once. While Bleckner’s larger works always seem to involve themes of mourning and ascension, vision and spirit—issues that are hardly absent here—these small paintings also reveal earthy, playful, more immediately perceptual aspects of the artist’s work. It’s reassuring to see the high themes anchored in direct experience, and good to be reminded that Bleckner is as unafraid to be obvious as some of his

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