Milo Macek at Salvatore Ala

Macek diligently covers his large canvases with hundreds, maybe thousands, of staccato brushstrokes. These form all-over fields of staggered stripes and give off a disorienting optical shimmer that’s not easy to look at. The labor he invests is admirable, perhaps even laudable, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into art. All too often the fetishized brushstroke is mistaken for full-bodied painting, and this work comes close to making the same mistake. Still, Macek does get away with it, if just barely. His surfaces aren’t belabored; they combine lightness with steeliness. Nevertheless, this is an artist who has painting himself into an accomplished cul-de-sac.

© 1995 Mario Naves

A version of this review was originally published in the January-February edition of The New York Review of Art.

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