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David Novros at Earl McGrath
Known for his sleek, hard-edge geometric abstract paintings, David Novros in this show presents a group of recent, large painted wall reliefs titled "Coppers." The artist's first New York solo since 1983, the exhibition features five abstract works made of copper sheeting cut into various shapes, ranging from sharp rectangles to elongated ovals. The overall designs seem inspired by works of ancient art, such as Celtic shields, Native American talismanic objects and pre-Colombian jewelry or weapons. Each piece is painted with touches of blue or black, although the copper color predominates.
The artist assembled the pieces at his New Mexico studio and has worked on them for the past decade. Several of the works include metal gold-mining pans several inches deep, soldered onto the copper surfaces. In one work, the pans are used to create shallow recesses, while in another, they appear as convex protrusions. One tall piece contains two attached oval forms trimmed in blue. Another work also trimmed in blue looks like a wildly exaggerated figure eight.
Burnished and painted in some areas, each work is to a certain degree reflective. The artist intends, however, for the copper surface to dull and change color over time. Eventually, these hybrid objects that are neither painting nor sculpture will resemble ancient architectural fragments that have withstood the test of time.
David Novros, "Coppers," Mar. 7-Apr. 1, 2000, at Earl McGrath, 20 W. 57 Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.