new-york

Mark Strand, Madrid, 2013, paper collage, 4 5/8 x 6 5/8".

Mark Strand

Lori Bookstein Fine Art

Mark Strand, Madrid, 2013, paper collage, 4 5/8 x 6 5/8".

A onetime poet laureate exhibiting his collages? That sounds like another one of those slightly embarrassing crossover exercises on the order of Bob Dylan showing his paintings or philosophers moonlighting as curators. Mark Strand, however, is no Johnny-come-lately when it comes to pictorial culture; he studied with Josef Albers at Yale, where he earned a BFA in 1959. And the pieces in this exhibition—fifteen small abstract collages made between 2011 and 2013, each titled only with the name of the city where it was made, either New York or Madrid—could never have been the work of a dabbler. They are objects of real power whose coloristic richness and spatial expansiveness belie their modest scale (none of them being more than eight inches in any dimension).

But to call these works collages may be misleading, though technically correct. Better, perhaps, to speak of painting

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