london

Clem Crosby, Vintage Valve, 2011, oil on Formica mounted on aluminum, 30 x 24 x 1 1/4".

Clem Crosby

Rachmaninoff's Smith/Arnatt

Clem Crosby, Vintage Valve, 2011, oil on Formica mounted on aluminum, 30 x 24 x 1 1/4".

I don’t think that Clem Crosby’s work is mainly derived from Abstract Expressionism (or any of its European cognates), despite some evident commonalities: the emphasis on gesture and improvisation; the play between form and formless, between plasticity and the inarticulable. Instead, I’d wager that his work stems from the cooler, sometimes even deadpan, formally buttoned-up (yet still fundamentally intuitive rather than systematic) abstraction that flourished in the 1960s and ’70s alongside Minimalism—the art of Robert Ryman, for instance, or of Imi Knoebel. Crosby’s recent show included four large vertical paintings in a double-square format just over eight feet tall, all from 2007 or 2008, and three much smaller, near-square pieces painted this year. Some of the works (The Greeks, 2007, Suck, 2008, Prophet, 2011) use an implicit grid structure, loosely adhered to in freehand

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