new-york

Betsy Kaufman

Patrick Gallery

Contrapuntally active, even a bit jumpy, rather than contemplative, Betsy Kaufman’s new paintings are wonderfully adept at coaxing color into revealing its ways and means. Most of them take off from a basic grid structure, but one that is deployed differently on each occasion, with unexpected syncopations counteracting any simple regularity. The complex interrelations of brightness and hue among contiguous blocks of uninflected color in Sugar St., 1994, produce a spatial illusionism that suggests a blown-up, digitalized photograph, for instance, whereas the brushy and somewhat more translucent squares (each a sort of tiny picture in its own right) that spread across the white ground of Rose Garden, 1993, evoke a sequence of staccato movements within, across, and off a neutral space. The two paintings are so different in effect that it’s hard to remember they are both basically grids composed

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