New York

Wes Mills

Berman/Daferner Gallery

Though filament and filiation may not be etymological cousins, in Wes Mills’ work they’re almost twins. Each line in his drawings is a hairlike fracture made faintly incandescent by the passage of a psychic current generated by the line that traces patriarchy’s traumatic contour. Small without being miniature, the drawings nevertheless convey the impression of an extreme reduction—the minimum area in which recollection and reflection can occur—the content kept, by the scale, at a distance that is the opposite of intimacy.

So while the awkward, childlike gesturality recalls Cy Twombly, the tonalities and shapes Susan Rothenberg, the style of abstraction Agnes Martin, ultimately no one of these artists particularly haunts Mills’ work because its origin is clearly peculiar to him. In the sibling (all works 1994) mindless discipline and trauma-induced catatonia issue from the same dark, phallic

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