New York

Harvey Quaytman, Voyager, 1991, acrylic and rust on canvas, 60 x 90".

Harvey Quaytman

McKee Gallery

Harvey Quaytman, Voyager, 1991, acrylic and rust on canvas, 60 x 90".

Committed describes the relationship between Harvey Quaytman (who died in 2002) and the McKee Gallery (which has represented the artist since it opened in 1974), as well as the dedication with which the artist approached his career-long exploration of abstraction’s topography. During this show’s opening-night panel, numerous canonical modernist names, from Władysław Strzemiński to Willem de Kooning, were thrown about in historical association, and investigating any number of these affiliations would be productive. And yet this compact survey encouraged us to first consider Quaytman’s work along its own, unflagging trajectory: as paintings that might have, in his words, a “sense of integrity and avoidance of easy answers.”

But what, first, are the questions? An obvious place to start might be with surface: How can it be awakened, given an interior life? In works from Becky’s Drawing

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