Art In America

C. Michael Norton

at Brian Morris Gallery and Buddy Warren Inc.,
171 Chrystie Street

Better known in France and Germany than in the U.S., veteran New York painter C. Michael Norton delivers a show that is unabashedly American in appearance and theme. Architecturally structured, with an allover interplay between hard-edged forms and flat yet infinite space indicated by areas of raw canvas, these bright abstractions echo the brash musical disjunctions of Ornette Coleman, to whom one of the works is dedicated. Although these are clearly constructed rather than spontaneously gestural compositions, their billboard-like clarity and immediacy convey the kind of bold insouciance expressed in one of Norton's wry titles: What a Wallop!


Pictured: C. Michael Norton: What a Wallop!, 2005-08, acrylic on linen (diptych), 7½ by 12 feet.


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