Keane writes that the show "focuses on how Vicente translates modernist designs for painting into the diction of collage. Braque and Matisse loom as his chief influences. Like those two artists, he often resorts to jigsaw patterns and semi-schematic presentations to create depths from surfaces... After joining the ranks of action painters and color field painters, he discovered how paper itself could achieve those same effects and reinvigorate both collage and abstract painting. This is his most important legacy, and yet his easily recognizable participation in those art movements can eclipse his individuality. Still, the question I kept asking myself during and after the visit was: How can a display of mixed media works that often look improvised and unassuming linger in the mind so monumentally, as if they were giant sculptures or primitive totems?"
Robert C. Morgan reviews Concrete Improviations: Collages and Sculpture by Esteban Vicente at the Grey Art Gallery through March 26, 2011. Morgan writes that Vicente's collages go "beyond simply using cut and torn scraps of paper. He would enhance the surface by employing other traditional materials as well. These would include gouache, charcoal, and colored pencil over the pasted elements, which were mounted either on board or canvas."
The show also includes Vicente's rarely seen sculptures, the 'Divertimiento.' The sculptures, though more playful, bring to mind the sculptures of Cy Twombly and Rodchenko's rough, wood block spatial constructions.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.