new-york

Joseph Marioni

Peter Blum Gallery

In a statement prepared for this exhibition, Joseph Marioni declared that “we are about 80% through this transition [from pictorial representation to concrete actualization] in a period known as abstraction.” If this argument about the historical necessity of what Marioni calls “concrete painting”—painting “determined by the perceptual structure of its materials” rather than the “compositional hierarchy of narrative picture-language”—is true, then he is only 80 percent a concrete painter, for the drips in some of these dense monochromes, while certainly neither compositional nor pictorial, convey a sense of the “narrative” of painting. In the terms Marioni sets forth, the most successful paintings in the exhibition—and there are many—are those without such distracting “incidents,” no matter how enticing: regardless of paint’s inherent property to flow, such flowing reminds us of the painter

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