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Kianja Strobert: Subversive Methods

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William Corwin reviews Kianja Strobert: Of This Day In Time at The Studio Museum in Harlem, on view through March 8, 2015.

Corwin writes: "In the tradition of Klein and Dubuffet, Strobert chooses to site her artistic practice within the confines of painting, while literally doing everything she can to reconfigure that discipline through a re-orientation of mediums and with an expressionistic yet pragmatic eye… Strobert’s painting isn’t abstract painting but the abstraction of painting. She is on a search for its origins; painting as practical magic, the prosaic made ecstatic, and self-portrait in its most basic sense as a trace of its author… The non-traditional materials Strobert employs — powdered graphite, pumice, papier-mâché and glitter among others — all have visual signatures as distinctive as the bulbous shine of oil paint or the transparent skeins of gouache. They very literally represent an earthier side of image making that enlists the grit and sparkle that exists in minerals, dirt and flesh, but that somehow crosses the line of acceptable representation."

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