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Joe Overstreet, St. Expedite II, 1971, metal grommets, cotton rope, acrylic on constructed canvas, dimensions variable.

Joe Overstreet

Eric Firestone Gallery | New York

Joe Overstreet, St. Expedite II, 1971, metal grommets, cotton rope, acrylic on constructed canvas, dimensions variable.

Joe Overstreet’s experimental paintings from the early 1970s were made to be suspended from ceilings and tied to floors using a system of ropes and grommets. As a result, they occupy a good deal of three-dimensional space, and by design their shapes change every time they are installed, depending on how they are stretched out, draped, or crumpled. In some works, such as St. Expedite II and Untitled, both 1971, and Untitled, 1972, Overstreet has painted squares of canvas in solid colors—red, green, navy blue, deep purple—edged in contrasting stripes. Other works, such as the enormous Boxes, 1970, play with vibrant patterns of geometric abstraction but, at the same time, appear haunted by the ghosts of earlier, more figurative gestures. Others still, such as Purple Flight, 1971, are splattered with fast-flung drips of paint. Taken together, the fifteen paintings and six

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