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Two Approaches to Abstraction

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Xico Greenwald visits two abstract painting exhibitions: Thornton Willis: Steps at Elizabeth Harris Gallery (through April 13) and Al Held: Alphabet Paintings at Cheim & Read (through April 20).

Greenwald writes that despite "superficial similarities, the works on display reflect the strikingly different temperaments and intentions of two ambitious abstract artists… Willis’ work comes out of a belief that 'painting is mystical, even magical,' whereas Held’s paintings, enormous objects influenced by Minimalism’s principle of Gestalt and objecthood, have been willed into existence. Gallery visitors have a chance to see where their allegiance lies."

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