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Porfirio DiDonna @ Elizabeth Harris

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Darragh McNicholas reviews Porfirio DiDonna: Paintings from the 1970s at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, on view through July 31, 2015.

McNicholas writes:"… the 6-foot-tall Untitled (pdn63) (1976) dwarfs me. It’s a dark and unyielding expanse of blue-green, with thousands of miniscule dots horizontally positioned along an invisible grid, each dot the amber color of a sun setting behind viscous pollution. I stand for a minute in alienated silence before I have any verbal thoughts at all about the work. The scale speaks of grandiosity, the form of objectivity and restraint. Then I notice some of the more subtle dynamics at play: the rows of horizontal dots are alternately bright and muted; the dark background undulates between two barely different shades; and thin, horizontal strips of acrylic are raised above the rest, creating a tactile surface. What first appeared arrestingly flat suddenly swells with energy and depth. The dots, however meticulous, quiver with an inescapable human imprint of imperfection, evidence of the painstaking labor devoted to the work."

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