Nancy Haynes

Lawing Gallery

Nancy Haynes has characterized her painting as an “emptying out,” a concern with absence and transience that she pits against a post-Minimalist structural logic. A key element in her work has been light, which she doesn’t so much represent (though there are moments when this is largely the case) as enlist in her cause. In some paintings of the past decade she has used phosphorescent paint so that they literally embody luminosity.

The titles of Haynes’ works recently on view—such as sociology, 1996–97, archaeology, 1997, and musicology, 1996–97—name various human sciences, but each canvas is a vacant site, the possibility of knowledge rather than its content. If these paintings suggest, following Foucault, that naming a discipline brings the subject of its inquiry into being, I see in her –ologies as well a droll connection to Barnett Newman’s quip that aesthetics is as relevant to artists

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