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The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2012

All Issues
FEB 2012 Issue


Victor Matthews. "Vortex OP II," 2011. Oil on canvas. 60" x 60", 152 cm x 152 cm. Photo courtesy of De Buck Gallery.

On View
De Buck Gallery
January 12 – February 23, 2012
New York

New work from a painter who’s been showing since the ’80s but may not be on your radar. He should. “Vortex” is the title of every work here (seven oils on canvas, 11 pastels). Vortex as paint spiraling into a central point, physical, that center spot, but also ethereal, spreading. The gesture is commanding, yet human, and seems to come from far away. Swirls bring to mind Karin Davie, but Matthews uses shapes, colors, and an idea more like Masson or even Michaux; something European, but also equatorial, hovers. Matthews’s colors are hot, more in the paintings, where scarlets, ocean blues, purples, and yellows merge, than in the more delicate pastels (all works are 2010 – 11 ). It is in the fabric of the paint, the blending, that Matthews achieves a consummate magic. The most successful of all is “Vortex OP II,” 60 × 60 inches, whose small strips create many side displays at a distance from the central blast.


Vincent Katz

is a poet and translator whose most recent book of poetry is Broadway for Paul.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2012

All Issues