New York

Suzanne McClelland

Kasmin Sculpture Garden

There’s no way to synthesize Florine Stettheimer’s florid fancies with the turbulent energy of Jackson Pollock, and why would anyone want to anyway? Doing just that, Suzanne McClelland’s new paintings put the impossible at the service of the unreasonable. Stettheimer and Pollock do come to terms in McClelland’s Cynthia and Angela (all works 2000): The Abstract Expressionist’s flung and poured paint morphs into something resembling the arabesque festoons of Stettheimer’s twee ornamentalism, as well as lettering that spells out a series of broken phrases: “i came to you,” “you always said,” “my eyes.” Along with two other diptychs, Frankie and Tallulah and Nina and Sophia, Cynthia and Angela represents a break with McClelland’s earlier work, and with the status quo of contemporary painting: It decisively sidesteps formalist self-referentiality without sacrificing (indeed, while intensifying)

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