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Elmer Bischoff No. 8, 1974

Elmer Bischoff, No. 8, 1974. Acrylic on canvas, 96 3/4 x 80 inches.

John Yau recently penned an insightful review of our exhibition, Elmer Bischoff/Tom Burckhardt: A Dialogue.

Yau writes that, despite his initial skepticism, this unlikely pairing "made sense and, more importantly, that the artists questioned assumptions and conventions regarding abstraction and how we apprehend it. In fact, their questioning of abstraction, which they arrived at by very different paths, is what makes this a more fruitful pairing than many of those I have seen in the last few years..."

Citing both artists' approach to composition and abstract form, Yau explains that "[Bischoff's] paintings are remarkable for maintaining an animated tension between the myriad parts and our desire for an overarching structure, while looking like nothing else being done, something that is still true of them. What makes these paintings unique is that, by rejecting style and other known solutions, Bischoff worked from the mid-1970s until the end of his life without a safety net. The issues of organization and legibility have been among Burckhardt’s ongoing preoccupations. In contrast to Bischoff, however, Burckhardt began his career after painting had become a highly contested site that many claimed had been exhausted."