Peter Malone reviews John Opper: The 1980s at David Findlay Jr Gallery, New York, on view through March 19, 2016.
Malone writes: "Each image is built of a dominant color, yet within each color there are subtle variations that maintain a shallow atmospheric depth — not enough to sink the color into a distracting illusion, but more than enough to activate its magically ambiguous relationship to the picture plane. Moreover, within each color division there are similarities in touch and density that are reprised in other parts of the painting. The canvas is less a container of discrete items and more a field of discernible yet harmonizing parts. This attention to compositional structure is what separated him from his AbEx colleagues… Opper somehow transcended the mythology of the AbEx period and almost clandestinely slipped into the more formalist designs of color field painting, while holding to a visual language that was both his own and an echo of Bonnard."