Curator Mark Rosenthal’s magisterial essay “Abstraction in the Twentieth Century”a text written to accompany an exhibition he organized for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1996notes the “forbidding appearance” of abstract art. Abstraction, he writes, is peculiarly inaccessible, even intimidatingoften “self-contained, and too often hermetic. ” Lynn McCarty’s work serves as a powerful riposte to this statement. Splendidly colorful and intricately formed, her paintingstwenty-one examples of which were on display in this excellent showare sensuously inviting, emotionally engaging, and seductively exciting.
McCarty’s art has an ecstatic gusto. The works are “created from layers of accumulated ‘pours’ of paint,” she writes, which gives them an uncanny fluidity, all the more uncanny because the painterly surfaces have a haptic quality: The
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