new-york

Raoul de Keyser

David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

Unearthing fragments of a ten-year-old linocut in his studio, septuagenarian Belgian artist Raoul De Keyser decided to use them as a jumping-off point for a series of modest paintings in which he calmly but with insistence reassesses the lingering potential of modernist abstraction. Having employed similar chance beginnings before—basing compositions on scraps of torn-up drawings in the manner of Hans Arp, for example, or veiling them in single colors to create pseudo-monochromes comparable to those of American painter John Zurier—De Keyser displays a quiet but well-founded confidence that his lyrical technique is itself strong enough to form the essential core of each work.

The title of De Keyser’s last show at this gallery, 2001’s “Come on, play it again,” suggested with endearing self-deprecation an awareness that exhibiting domestically scaled abstract canvases in the first year of the

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