Milton Resnick @ Mana Contemporary

Milton Resnick, Runaway, 1958. oil on canvas, 59 x 59 inches (© The Milton Resni
Milton Resnick, Runaway, 1958. oil on canvas, 59 x 59 inches (© The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation, 2014, courtesy Cheim & Read)

Jonathan Goodman reviews the exhibiton Milton Resnick (1917-2004): Paintings and Works on Paper from the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation at Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, New Jersey, on view through August 1, 2014.

Goodman writes: "Resnick lived his artistic life under the shadow of more famous painters, but that fact should not be allowed to diminish his ambition and his reach. Indeed, his accomplishments are not to be denied; his paintings expand the spectrum of the Abstract Expressionists who used paint as a physical entity, artists such as Pollock and de Kooning. In the thicket of his surfaces, we see the AbEx demand that we look at paint simply as paint, so that the surface is neither given to narration nor to intellectual content. It is what it is. At the same time, we do not do justice to Resnick if we walk away from some sense of a personal presence in his pictures. The emotional depth of his abstraction is highly impressive, and must be seen that way. In a way, he survives because his art communicates negative feeling in magisterial ways — a bit of a contradiction, perhaps, but one that asserts the truth of his career."