New York

Adja Yunkers

The Painting Center

This rare exhibition of the work of Adja Yunkers, who died in 1984, was an important if modest survey of his art from the last 20 years of his long career. While Larionov, Malevich, the Italian Futurists, and the Mexican muralists figure among the early influences of the Russian-trained Yunkers, the seven paintings and three works on paper in this show demonstrate the degree to which his mature work was informed by postwar developments in abstraction. While formal affinities with the work of artists as diverse as Mark Rothko, Lucio Fontana, and even Yves Klein are evident, the unassuming and somewhat “awkward on its edges” quality of Yunkers’ work clearly values poetic introspection over formal cohesiveness and expressive intensity.

The Illusionist—Third Version, 1973, with its Rothko-like floating rectangle painted in thin washes, is a palimpsest, a tabletlike surface covered with overlapping

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