Art In America

Harvey Quaytman

at Van Doren Waxter,
23 East 73rd Street

Harvey Quaytman's paintings of the 1980s and '90s, a tight selection of which are on view here, bring the visual rhetoric associated with transcendent abstraction down to earth. Quaytman (1937–2002) is known for works from the 1960s and '70s that pushed an exploration of shaped canvases as far as it could go without devolving into pure idiosyncrasy or baroque excess. The shapes here are more conventional, mostly squares or lozenges that play against compositions dominated by grids and crosses. There's something unabashedly blunt about these works, with compositions dominated by a few planes of color (blue and yellow are prominent) that stand out against black-and-white geometric forms more evocative of Mondrian or Malevich than Quaytman's Neo-Geo contemporaries. But Quaytman's paintings are as much about subtle surface details as about bold pictorial effects. A few of the canvases, including Hone (1983), which gives the exhibition its title, have been embellished with ground glass. Far from suggesting sublime luminosity, the subtle sparkle brings to mind sandpaper, a point of reference more appropriate for Quaytman's brand of everyday abstraction. —William S. Smith

Pictured: Harvey Quaytman: Vital Attractions, 1990, acrylic and crushed glass on canvas, 60 inches square. Courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

More from the Lookout

Siebren Versteeg

at bitforms gallery,
through May 28
131 Allen Street

“Formal Complaint”

at the Knockdown Center,
through May 28
52-19 Flushing Ave., Queens

Aki Sasamoto

at The Kitchen,
through May 13
512 West 19th Street

William Cordova

at Sikkema Jenkins,
through May 13
530 West 22nd Street

Dawn Clements

at Pierogi,
through May 7
155 Suffolk Street

Sara Cwynar

at Foxy Production,
through May 14
2 East Broadway

Keltie Ferris

at Mitchell-Innes & Nash,
through May 6
1018 Madison Avenue

Soshiro Matsubara

at Brennan & Griffin,
through May 7
122 Norfolk Street

“Outlaw Glass”

at apexart,
through May 27
291 Church Street


Romare Bearden

at DC Moore,
through Apr. 29
535 West 22nd Street

Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue

Sarah Charlesworth

at Maccarone,
through May 6
98 Morton Street

Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini

at The Center for Italian Modern Art,
through Jun. 24
421 Broome Street

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.