Dan Walsh, Cycle VI, 2013, pencil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70".

Dan Walsh

Paula Cooper Gallery | 534 West 21st Street

Dan Walsh, Cycle VI, 2013, pencil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70".

“My joke early on about how to describe myself was ‘Philip Guston paints an Agnes Martin,’” Dan Walsh told an interviewer recently, and he is an artist who knows both his art history and himself. The early works he was describing are more spare and less colorful than those he makes now, but his analogy from the interview holds: The paintings, drawings, and books in this show all have an underlying severity—some intimation of Martin-like system and rigor and more broadly of an understanding of the ambitions of modernist abstraction—but Walsh’s subtly humorous designs and color schemes have a wit that recalls Guston, who may also be echoed visually in the occasional distension and slight swollenness of Walsh’s line. The most obvious case is the fun Walsh has with the grid, a paradigmatic compositional structure of modernist art from its early days right through to Martin,

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