Sunday, March 20, 2016

Paul Huxley: Abstract As Distillation


Torus, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

The British artist Paul Huxley, now in his late 70s, creates large abstracts that strike me as a distillation of someone like the early modernist Stuart Davis. I like how the work above reads as "flat" and receding in equal measure. The color palette is a little unusual, too, creating unique harmonies, and the tones are at once mellow and assertive.

I once had the idea that it would be cool to create a globe or model of the Earth that was a cube instead of a sphere. Below, Huxley takes a form that is rounded and rough, Chinese calligraphy, and makes it rectilinear, distilling it into a different mode of abstraction; asking, what would calligraphy look like in mid-century Manhattan? There's power in this transference, this transposition.

Geng, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 68 x 68 inches

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