New York

“Besides, With, Against, and Yet”

The Kitchen

This past winter, ’twas the season of nonfigurative painting in New York, what with specters of abstraction past (Wassily Kandinsky at the Guggenheim, Georgia O’Keeffe at the Whitney) and harbingers of things to come (for instance, Bob Nickas’s “Cave Painting II” at Gresham’s Ghost). Even so, the Kitchen’s “Besides, With, Against, and Yet: Abstraction and the Ready-Made Gesture,” curated by the institution’s director, Debra Singer, staked out important ground. Exemplifying a set of practical-cum-theoretical tendencies—the two are now inextricably linked, which is part of the story—without forcing them into an infelicitous ism, Singer incisively grouped twenty-two New York–based artists whose works, per the press release, exhibit “diverging conceptual approaches to abstract painting and question the fundamental roots of the medium’s modernist legacies.” Thus did Richard Aldrich, Polly

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