Jonathan Lasker

Rose Art Museum

JONATHAN LASKER ONCE TOLD ME he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there's no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. But neither, I would add, is there any special reason to create metaphor-laden art—that is, unless the metaphors carry conviction. Lasker's paintings puzzle over precisely this question: what's credible in painting, for now, and why. Each element in his compositions is a stylized quotation or codification of a gesture or image that has already appeared somewhere in the history of modernism, and usually also in Lasker's own oeuvre. Yet while his project is not unrelated to that of the appropriationists of his generation, neither is it fundamentally in accord wit it. Lasker retains too many traces of that pesky old existential anxiety,

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