Matthew Craig @ Simon Gallery

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Dona Nelson reviews a recent exhibition of paintings by Matthew Craig at Simon Gallery, New Jersey.

Nelson writes: "Craig is extremely intentional in regard to all of the physical decisions that go into making his paintings. The 20×22 inch format stubbornly resists any kind of illusionistic reading. The thick stretchers feature a frank bedsheet fold of canvas at each corner. Many of the paintings are fields of color intersected by one inch wide stripes that are different colors than the field … Letter features a medium dark green field, brushed lightly over a stained pink ground at the top of the canvas. A slightly garish pink stripe is painted on three sides of the canvas. Craig is careful to maintain the green and pink on the same plane with a slightly off center V of pink coming down from the top corners of the painting, like a flap on an envelope. The brushy top keeps the top 'flap' from functioning optically as if it is on top of the bottom green of the 'letter.' This is a wonderfully complex painting, which evokes an image without becoming an image. Letter rigorously maintains its status as an abstract painting."

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