Robert Holyhead

Karsten Schubert

For this exhibition Robert Holyhead showed ten small to medium-size abstract paintings, each titled Untitled and dated 2009. All but one of the paintings feature white and a single other color, although this additional color is present both as a highly saturated hue and as a paler, washier one—in other words, they use white, a color, and that color mixed with white through its having been applied to the white ground and then wiped away. (In the one exception, the second-largest of the paintings on view, about which more later, the colored parts of the painting appear as an uneven mix of two colors, so that certain passages of the very watery blend favor a pinkish-purplish tinge, while others lean more toward brownish yellow.) This coloristic dialectic of opposition and synthesis is articulated at a formal level through figure/ground relations. That might sound tediously academic, and at

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2009 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.