chicago

McArthur Binion, Icecicle: Juice, 1976, oil stick, Dixon wax crayon on aluminum, 71 x 45".

McArthur Binion

Kavi Gupta Gallery | Elizabeth St

McArthur Binion, Icecicle: Juice, 1976, oil stick, Dixon wax crayon on aluminum, 71 x 45".

To see “Ghost: Rhythms,” Chicago-based artist McArthur Binion’s first solo exhibition at Kavi Gupta, was to be let in on a secret. From a distance, the rarely seen abstractions on unstretched canvas and aluminum from the artist’s early career in New York during the 1970s recall aerial maps or stratified rock formations. Upon closer inspection, the seemingly monochromatic beige oil-stick skeins give way to teeming beds or imperfect grids of barely perceptible crisscrossing blue, green, and red lines. By insisting that viewers look not only at but through his subtle, multilayered works, Binion invites an excavational mode of seeing attuned to the ghosting of mark-making itself—a major theme of the artist’s oeuvre as a whole.

While the artist’s biography often overshadows more formal analyses of his work, it would be difficult to deny the significance of Binion’s past when

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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 November 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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