boston

Andrew Masullo, 5264, 2010–11, oil on canvas, 16 x 20".

Andrew Masullo

Steven Zevitas Gallery

Andrew Masullo, 5264, 2010–11, oil on canvas, 16 x 20".

Andrew Masullo’s abstract paintings pose formal dilemmas, linguistic slippages, and categorical paradoxes that turn formal analysis into a game—and perhaps that’s the point. To attempt to describe these pieces is to willingly abandon the possibility of fixity, as his work has an uncanny way of being perpetually in advance of its pursuer. Stated another way, Masullo’s work, which grew out of the 1980s East Village scene in New York, performs a set of operations that unmoor the term “abstract painting,” leading viewers in unexpected directions—obliging us to begin the game again.

This process of repetition, by carving out a new point of arrival and departure with each of the twenty-five canvases presented in this exhibition, produces variations that are best considered comparatively. For instance, if in 5342, 2011, sinuous surfaces of different colors meander around the

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