Thursday, April 29, 2021

Martin Wong, Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W


Wong's are hard, heavy, enclosing, emphasis on bars, bricks, bricks, more bricks. This was the era of neo-expressionism and this was city's expression, Wong painting what the city exuded, its own abstract expressionism. Bricks clung to the canvas like broken plate brutalism. There's just so many bricks. Very little light. Which against this dull light, Gilbert's figures grow etiolated, leggy, soft. They bend in strange ways. Squishy vulnerability. For all the bad situations they still manage to find a lot of pleasant lighting, lovely pastel color. Wong's get none, the pleasure of color is walled in the red bricks, imprisoned by police blues.