Reviews

Matt Keegan and Anne Truitt at Andrea Rosen

New York

Matt Keegan, Untitled (Neon), 2014, powder-coated steel, 32⅞" x 22½" x 4". LANCE BREWER/©MATT KEEGAN/COURTESY ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY, NEW YORK

Matt Keegan, Untitled (Neon), 2014, powder-coated steel, 32⅞" x 22½" x 4".

LANCE BREWER/©MATT KEEGAN/COURTESY ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY, NEW YORK

Elegant almost to a fault, this show paired a heartbreaker of a pale-blue totem, about five feet tall, by Anne Truitt (1921–2004)—Landfall from 1970—with a handful of new works by the enterprising Matt Keegan, the most interesting of which were intricate, nearly flat, geometric wall pieces carved by lasers from paper cutouts, powdered with Truitt-esque color (a light peach, a midnight blue), and then bent by machines into their final shapes. Reminiscent of Chicago veteran Diane Simpson’s ingenious works, these looked like abstracted pieces of clothing, hard-edged Rorschach tests, or perhaps cutting-edge shields.

Keegan lined the walls with 21 slices of Sheetrock into which he had cut grids by hand, conjuring a bit of warmth, however slight, from that institutional material, but two large photographs that used details of city streets to examine other naturally occurring geometries were forgettable. On the whole one got the impression of a very astute artist playing it just a touch too safe.

That said, while pairing work from an established master with that of a relatively young gun is an old trick, it largely worked here, evoking a shared history of maverick Minimalism and its descendants that is concerned with the interplay between monolithic forms and irregular alternatives, and between the machine and the hand.

A version of this story originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 112.

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