Tomma Abts @ David Zwirner

Tomma Abts, Voke, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 7/8 x 15 inches (courtesy
Tomma Abts, Voke, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 7/8 x 15 inches (courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery)

Patrick Brennan reviews a recent exhibition of works by Tomma Abts at David Zwirner Gallery, New York.

Brennan writes that Abts "welcomes the ambiguities of spatial illusionism, even alluding to shadow in places, but the spaces and volumes implied orient toward a discontinuous, pluralistic, non-homogeneous dimensionality... She implies multiple interpretations of visual movement to calibrate fluctuating tensions that don’t ever resolve, but remain potential: a sort of spatio-tactile surrealism. Tensile conditions unfold here in narrative terms as well as visually. The internal variability and irregularity of these pieces trace the biographies of their having been composed and discovered within a relationship of mutual reciprocity with the artist. Archaeologically, one may encounter here something akin to distinctive 'thought forms' — the shapes of consideration, comparison and integration, a way of moving though that particular situation, a drama of sorts that may be transposed or tried on for size. Yet these paintings and drawings don’t depict, illustrate or “represent” such experiences. They present. They unfold themselves rather than standing for something else or re-presenting. The viewer can discover and work out whatever moves for oneself."