Stephen Westfall’s exhibition of sharp and subtle abstractions, titled “Crispy Fugue State,” finds him returning to the canvas after recent major mural projects—notably, a forty-five-foot piece at Art OMI in upstate New York and a painting that covered all four walls of the University of California Santa Barbara’s Nachman Gallery. Westfall, a contributing editor to A.i.A., achieves the expansiveness of monumental painting in his recent works through implied movement. A slight perspectival skew to the grid of boldly hued diamonds in Amors (2016) turns the constellation of color into a piece of something larger, like a skin glimpsed in passing. The fleeting effect counters the concrete reality of Westfall’s consistently solid, hard-edge surfaces. Delta (2016), a tall, narrow painting in a gallery filled with large rectangular works, commanded attention. Its close-up view of the interstices between rows of diamond shapes like the ones seen in in his murals and the other canvases evokes a sort of intimacy.
Pictured: Stephen Westfall: The Future Advances and Recedes, 2015, oil and alkyd on canvas, 78 by 66 inches. Courtesy Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York.