Haiku Reviews: ART 2014 Roundup V

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PAUL BURLIN, Said Couldn’t Be Done, 1959, Oil on canvas, 78 x 72 inches

Paul Burlin played an odd role in abstract expressionism – indeed, in American art as a whole. His best known work is clearly abstract expressionist, but, for all its painterliness, is far less gestural than other work of its ilk; indeed, it seems energized less by its gesturality per se and more by its symbolic, or at least notational, characteristics, putting it in closer relationship to the early symbol-ridden work of Rothko, Gottlieb, et al – except that it is visually far subtler and more complex, evincing the influence of Kandinsky as well as Picasso, and also made a decade or two later. Such paintings of Burlin’s in fact constituted his last bodies of work, preceded by decades of

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