new-york

Robert Mangold

Pace Wildenstein

A fellow writer once advised me that a short essay could contain many ideas but a long piece ought to have a single big one. Likewise, a small painting will often be composed of a multitude of little touches, each of which separately gives no idea of the whole, while a very large work may be better realized by restricting the composition to no more than a few big open areas. By that criterion, it might be said that Robert Mangold has found the ideal scale in his mural-size “Zone Paintings,” with the three on view in his recent show ranging from just under fourteen to all of twenty-seven and a half feet in length.

These large works are, at minimum, handsome paintings that sit easily in their scale, unruffled by either anxiety or bravado. Composed of several panels each, they are almost symmetrical but not oppressively so, since their arched upper comers are angled differently on each side.

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