New York

Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Traditional Object), 2020, acrylic, fabric, wood, 76 × 82". From the series “Traditional Object,” 2010–.

Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Traditional Object), 2020, acrylic, fabric, wood, 76 × 82". From the series “Traditional Object,” 2010–.

Lisa Alvarado

Bridget Donahue

Lisa Alvarado’s series titled “Thalweg (Traditional Object)” features brightly inscrutable two-sided paintings on fabric or canvas, edged with metallic passementerie or floral embroidered trim—delicate finishing touches for bold abstractions. There were nine such exacting works (all 2020) suspended from the ceiling at various angles in “Thalweg,” her airy solo exhibition this past summer at Bridget Donahue. Some, bearing graphic stepped shapes, prismatic compositions, snaking or zigzagging patterns, and glyph-like forms in electric palettes, seemed informed by Mayan textiles; others, built from brushy gestural layers, evoked desert scrub, coral reefs, and aerial topography. One Object from the group, framed by silver tassel fringe and lace, with its big swaths of color in a Monet-ish palette of pink and celadon, recalled torn-up lily pads. But that particular history of painting didn’t

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