New York

William Wood

Linda Kirkland Gallery

In his grisaille, abstract paintings (all works 1996), William Wood manipulates liquid oil paint with fingers and found objects to create furrows, blobs, and convoluted planes that simulate photographic depth (including subtle touches of reflected light) but retain their character as drips and trails of paint. A curling stroke resembling David Reed’s becomes a Piranesian space; a dragged, Richteresque surface appears convex, like a melting ice floe or globs of mercury. Other canvases suggest cells and body tissues viewed through an electron microscope.

According to a recent catalogue essay by Richmond Burton, Wood prepares his surfaces meticulously, and the final painting is an “adrenaline-fueled event of skill, speed and dexterity.” Despite the implied connection to a heroic gestural tradition, Wood’s marks seem machine perfect, closer to the so-called mediated gestures of Reed and Richter,

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