new-york

Denyse Thomasos

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

Using a flat brush an inch or so in width, Denyse Thomasos applies bands of thinned-down acrylic paint to canvas in a relentless crisscrossing motion, building up dense, kaleidoscopic records of the process. The hatching is loose and gestural in her small-scale works, but as the paintings become larger (up to 10 by 16 feet), the grids grow stiffer, even volumetric, suggesting rows of stylized buildings. Some of her lines are uncannily straight, as if made by a monomaniacal sign painter, while others are erratic, leaving drips that complicate (and energize) the skewed cubic forms.

Compared to classic gestural abstraction, Thomasos’ marks seem playfully robotic, and her flirtation with illusionism introduces narrative (the city-as-prison, stretching to infinity) to a style historically hostile to such interpretations. Yet one still wonders whether her repetitive striping constitutes much more

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.