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Bart Exposito

Original article at ArtForum.com

PARKER JONES
8545 Washington Blvd.
January 8 – February 26

Bart Exposito’s slyly engaging hard-edged abstractions simultaneously evoke the muted interior design palettes of the ‘70s, the Neo-Geo slickness of the ‘80s, and the vector-based graphic design familiar from electronic music album covers of the mid-to-late ‘90s. Four works on paper, all set against white grounds, look like smoothed-out versions of Joanne Greenbaum’s awkward yet graceful paintings, but unfortunately lose some of her human touch in the process. The five paintings are stronger. In a departure from his earlier works, the forms here never quite touch the edge of the frame, though Out of the Loop, 2004—a cross between a shaped Stella canvas circa 1967 and a stylized trumpeting elephant—requires two abutting canvases to contain its graphic marks. Green, 2004—which mixes shades of avocado, olive, and forest with white and off-white—is the flattest of these very flatly rendered paintings, and, though remarkably poised, the most susceptible to charges of being “merely design.” (One could easily imagine a tessellated version expanding across the wall.) Exposito has always skirted the line between schematic-looking diagrams and fully-fledged compositions, and in this show the latter largely prevails. Best is the delightfully complex Symmetry and Shadows, 2004, which pushes and pulls against the picture plane with the dynamism of “Wild Style” graffiti.