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Keith Coventry, Deontological Picture A + II, 2011, pigmented rainwater on jute, wood, gesso, glass, plastic, 741⁄4 x 533⁄8". From the series “Deontological Pictures,” 2011–.

Keith Coventry

PEER

Keith Coventry, Deontological Picture A + II, 2011, pigmented rainwater on jute, wood, gesso, glass, plastic, 741⁄4 x 533⁄8". From the series “Deontological Pictures,” 2011–.

With “Deontological Pictures,” his ongoing series of monochrome framed canvases begun in 2011, Keith Coventry queries the continued viability both of abstraction and of painting as such. At first glance, this show comprised a series of imposing pictures that recall the brooding painterly fields of Mark Rothko’s late work; upon closer inspection, they were revealed to be made not from paint and linen canvas, from the resolutely ordinary detritus of everyday life. The ten works on view in Peer’s two rooms are actually rectangular, framed sheets of brown jute sacking, each roughly two yards high and just over one yard wide. The brown fabric has been stained with darkened blooms of rainwater, collected by the artist from the roof of his studio and mixed with black pigment. The inky clouds saturate the surface of the porous sacking in variegated patterns and different densities.

The

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