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to what Hickey calls the “handless-ness” of Op, all of the work seems to have arrived in its current state fully formed, as if sprung from the brow of Zeus. It betrays no anxiety, no backtracking or reworking. It meets our gaze, perfect in its thing-ness, with confidence and audacity. If, as Hickey claimed for Op, everything we need to know about perceptual art is on the surface, then the works in this exhibition are engaging in a similarly direct connection with the viewer. That is easier said than done: A corrosive, market-driven irony, which has increasingly dominated the cultural conversation in the intervening decades, has complicated that simple concept to the extent that it is now practically a source of embarrassment, an ideal illegitimate in its naïveté. But the forthrightness of this work, and the irresistible intensity of its designs and pigments, erase such misgivings and restore that connection before we even realize it’s happening. All we need to do is look.

Thomas Micchelli is an artist, writer and co-editor of the online critical review Hyperallergic Weekend. His paintings, drawings and videos have been exhibited in New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere. In addition to Hyperallergic, his essays and reviews have appeared in Art 21, Bookforum.com, The Brooklyn Rail and other publications.

Doppler Shift  
Doppler Shift  

Twenty seven artists from the US and Europe use geometry and color to explore the illusion of difference between two- and three-dimensional...

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