Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tomma Abts at The Art Institute of Chicago


The monastic adherence to a form could become its own gratification, refusal, a withholding that feels like control over its pleasure. Or the canvases' ascetic ground a soil ripe for tilling. Instead the cut corners of mild invention placidly chose neither, shaped with a sorta-not-sorta-evolution for the form. It's a wildly unexciting development, threatening the whole enterprise with its contaminant arbitrariness, the whole hermetic tight-ass pleasure suddenly loosed with an open cavity. You can't cut the paper in origami, and if you did, you would expect results better than this. And perhaps then that is the point, of a relaxed attitude or orifice, a bit more air in the room, the painting, unlike a well made chair, doesn't need to stand up, because it will do so under scrutiny to call that air its fourth leg, painting is in fact arbitrary, we can hope for nothing else, even if we had hoped for something else.