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Paul Sarkisian

SITE Santa Fe

The new, shaped paintings that crowded veteran New Mexico–based artist Paul Sarkisian’s ten-year retrospective not only smack vaguely of anime, they look like the kind of thing that Bridget Riley might produce were she to embark on a second career in packaging design: wavy-edged fields of emerald and magenta applied to panels that seem inspired as much by Karim Rashid as Frank Stella. But the show, curated by Louis Grachos, director of Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery, also amounted to a cautionary tale about the dangers of dividing a solo survey unequally between styles (of the twenty-eight paintings included, only Untitled [El Paso], 1971–72, is figurative) and periods (seventeen of them were made in the past year and a half).

While Sarkisian’s most interesting paintings pay homage to the flat colors and hard lines of popular graphic design, they would arguably look just as good

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