Review of “Harvey Quaytman: Against the Static” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Quaytman skillfully translated the energy of preparatory sketches to large-scale proportions in these works. The resultant paintings retain the small moments where inconsistencies arise and balance is subtly disturbed when one draws by hand. In other words, Quaytman imported the personal aspect of the drawing process to the often impersonal world of geometric abstraction and, given the large scale of the paintings, cast the irregularities as heroic. Frank Stella, pioneer of the shaped canvas, warned that abstraction, especially as practiced by Kandinsky and Mondrian, can lack “human dynamics.” Quaytman’s work, however, is full of humanity.
[Kim Beil, Art in America]

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