Los Angeles-based artist Rebecca Morris’s exhibition of rough abstraction that she calls “perverse formalism” is up at Harris Lieberman Gallery through Saturday. In Time Out New York, Nana Asfour suggests that Morris’s paintings aren’t fashionable because they are “heartfelt, as opposed to drenched in that comforting, cynical, isn’t-it-all-such-a-gas attitude called irony….In these offbeat, folksy, messiness-meets-modernism works, Morris displays her unequivocal investment in a personal pictorial language. Still, though her paintings radiate charm and earnestness, they don’t quite repudiate the mechanics of abstraction today.
“She actually follows many of the same rules as other painters of her generation — which is to say that she references art history as much as she breaks from it. But she is fearless in laying bare her flaws, even as she displays her talents. So hurray that she allows her paintings to exist as they are, without qualifications.”
If there isn’t any irony in the amusing awkwardness, self-consciously ugly abstraction can come off as badly painted….unless, of course, there’s a manifesto that says things like “Abstraction never left, motherfuckers!” (which there is).
“Rebecca Morris,” Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York, NY. Through January 8, 2011.