Michael Kessler Fencing, 1997, acrylic on panel,
36 x 60 in.
david ebony's new york top ten
at littlejohn contemporary
Apr. 2-May 3, 1997
This show of seven recent large
and medium-size paintings on wood
by Michael Kessler is a knockout.
Kessler, who lives in New Mexico,
attempts to pack into his
paintings something of the
powerful forces of the
southwestern sun and wind. His
carefully executed compositions of
scraped and softly brushed
pigment, incorporate interlocking
geometric patterns inspired by
Fencing is a large painting in
which translucent red rectangles
emerge from a subtly illusionistic
space. A bright yellow painting
titled, Surface Tension VII, is an
homage to the blazing desert sun.
In a tall, vertical work, Four
Corners III, shades of bright red
seep through a brown background,
an ostensible ode to the earth.
One of my favorites is Teal Fields
I, in which brilliant red squares
seem to be suspended over a liquid
teal background. Kessler's
paintings are among those rare
works that manage to arrest the
eye and mesmerize without the
slightest sign of aggression.