Philadelphia

Keith Ragone

Locks Gallery

While Keith Ragone may position himself outside the ongoing conversation about whether painting is alive or dead, witnessing the obvious attachment of the artist to his practice, one wonders whether these nostalgic images are enlightened gestures or stunning anachronisms. Ragone’s paintings are not inventions that speak of this moment, nor do they reinvent, in a customary way, a moment from the past; there is no irony, no real distance in his investigation. Though traces of the explorations of artists such as Willem de Kooning, Hans Hoffmann, and Arshile Gorky linger in Ragone’s works, he seems to suggest that if we are overwhelmed by the presence of so many painting giants, it is our problem, not his.

His practice involves a dense, formal vocabulary that reflects a view of nature where change is a constant and the evolution of form becomes the prevailing conceit. A single color is often

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