New York

Howard Buchwald

Nancy Hoffman Gallery

Howard Buchwald’s abstract paintings are didactic in the best sense: they present themselves as advanced lessons in the art of seeing. Since his last New York gallery exhibition five years ago, he has abandoned his idiosyncratic method of constructing elaborate supports shot through with holes at various angles to reveal the wall behind the painting. In this regard, the formal postulates of the recent paintings are less stringent than in Buchwald’s work of the ’80s.

As before, Buchwald’s method is a crisp distillation of gestural abstraction—of Pollock’s allover composition in particular. But Buchwald has reduced the expressive gesture to a single constructive element, a generic, all-purpose mark: a finger-thick acrylic brushstroke that is somewhat fatter at its edges. This stroke is always long enough to be clearly a line and not a shape. Its textural quality allows Buchwald to build up

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