Harriet Korman: Line or Edge, Line or Color

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John Yau reviews Harriet Korman: Line or Edge, Line or Color at Lennon, Weinberg Inc., New York, on view through November 1, 2014.

Yau writes that "Korman’s hints at whimsy and disruptions of symmetry and pattern instill a remarkable freshness in her work. For the past two decades, she has divided the surface into a non-hierarchical, interlocking combination of geometric areas, which can be separated by line or abutted, edge to edge. In some cases, the line or lines a geometric shape seem to spread the color beyond its boundaries, echoing the effect of halation. But, as one learns from looking at Korman’s work, every pattern, repetition or trajectory – all the traps that lull viewers into relaxing their attention, thinking they know what will happen next – will be disrupted as the artist introduces an unexpected shift or change into the work. Such looking requires that the viewer remained focused and alert – it is a way of thinking about painting that seems almost extinct…  It is refreshing to experience work that doesn’t rely on the WOW factor; doesn’t exhibit nostalgia for Abstract-Expressionism; and doesn’t require that things be attached to the surface. Nor does it depend on non-art or distressed supports; it doesn’t celebrate materialist or fetishize materialist excess; it isn’t made of images, appropriated or otherwise, and it has never played the bigger-is-better game."

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