New York

Tom Burckhardt

Caren Golden Fine Art

Things, identifiable and otherwise, run amok in Tom Burckhardt's work, all on pretty much equal footing. By the artist's standards, a Greek amphora is as neat as a wheelbarrow is as cool as a quivering mass of dots is as super-duper as faux-historical furniture and bamboo, plaid, and swirling patterns. The painter creates gloriously nonsensical, lushly colored and composed fantasias that, aptly enough in a post-“ism” era, defy categorization and resist interpretation.

The twenty paintings in the artist's latest solo show came in four basic sizes: small, medium, large, and a new, tall and skinny “totem” format in which abstract forms and concrete objects are building blocks for precariously balanced towers. In one such piece, (I Wish I Could Write a Great) Pop Song, 2002, a red line seems to be squirting like liquid from a gasoline can, yet somehow it's solid enough to support a blue-and-white

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