David Cohen reviews Nathlie Provosty (the third ear) at Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, on view through May 15, 2016.
Cohen writes: "Process in these 'black' paintings hovers between deletion and accretion. The eye quickly becomes attuned to the survival of obscured, subcutaneous shapes and zones, and indeed colors, without compromising the surface’s serenely achieved sheerness. In this respect, the enigmatic black paintings of Ad Reinhardt, with their cruciform substructures, inevitably come to mind, as do the contingent emerging complexity of Suzan Frecon’s irregular geometries. In Provosty’s case, in counterpoint to the play of glossy bent shape against allover matt ground, an off-kilter vertical axis serves to further destabilize monochrome finality, adding uneven slivers of exposed canvas to outer edges of the rectangle to give resulting shape to what would otherwise have been merely accepted as a given, a field. These are complicatedly simple pictures."