Archie Rand

Paolo Baldacci Gallery

Archie Rand has always emphasized the fact that his education included both Color Field and realist painting, and that his friendship with Philip Guston taught him something about how the two might be mingled without being synthesized. At the same time, Rand’s vocabulary encompasses both the raucously disruptive nonsense of cartoons and mural painting’s rhetoric of high-minded collective address. In that sense he has less in common with many of the painters who emerged, as he did, in the ’70s than with those of the ’30s—he may be less like alumni of CalArts than those of the WPA, even if his work’s peculiarly corrosive irony, tinged with hysteria, has always seemed markedly contemporary.

While Rand’s last two exhibitions in New York—small paintings in 1995 and drawings in 1996—underscored the manic, cartoony side of his sensibility, this show of four very large paintings (three of them more

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