David Carrier reviews the exhibition Peter Soriano: New Work at Lennon, Weinberg, New York, on view through February 23, 2013.
Carrier writes: "What is a painting? For some time, artists have been answering that question in very diverse ways by taking painting apart into its constituent elements. Frank Stella and Elizabeth Murray focused our attention on the stretcher; Julia Mehretu and Cy Twombly dealt with the painterly gesture; and Mel Bochner and Sol LeWitt, the role of drawing. Peter Soriano, who in the 1990s made colored sculptures from polyester resin, now is seeking to make his art more portable by doing improvised wall paintings, schematized landscapes based upon plein air drawings. His original contribution to this ongoing artistic dialogue involves bringing a new visual resource into the discussion... graffiti." Carrier continues: "anyone who loves painterly visual art can enjoy Soriano’s wall paintings, which are joyous, truly ‘gay’ in the traditional sense of that word. Seeing his paintings coming from the bitter cold of an overcast winter day, I thought of Henri Matisse’s late cutouts, a perhaps strange but not-irrelevant association. Constructing diagram-like markings, which diagram nothing, Soriano shows how far reaching aesthetic effects can be created by using minimal means."