Stephen Prina

Barbara Krakow Gallery

Stephen Prina suspended five lushly painted, fifteen-foot-long window blinds from the ceiling in his recent show, so that no matter where one stood, at least some of the work was hidden from view. Even the gallery staff were obscured, partly blocked by a burnt orange, sponge-painted blind adjusted so that it hung about an inch above the reception desk. These barriers—whose repeated diagonal strokes transformed them into postpainterly abstractions in their own right—were key to the show, which suggested that concealment can, paradoxically, be revealing.

Prina is known to work in series, which he adds to over extended periods of time. And here, near a pair of violet and green blinds, were three new diptychs augmenting the series “Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet,” begun in 1988. The right panel is the same in each: a framed lithographic print with a grid of 555 small light

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