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15 Feb 2018

John Opper: Paintings from the 1960s and 1970s

Berry Campbell

Reviewed by Kim Uchiyama

The structured forms of John Opper's paintings during these two decades investigate a broad yet surprisingly intimate range of color relationships that evoke subtle, lasting emotion.

Luminous lozenges hover and interlock on the picture plane. Shapes lean against and nudge each other, highlighting soft edges that gently touch or separate slightly before jostling into place.

A founding member of the American Abstract Artists, Opper believed in aspiring to the sublime. "Art is it's own experience," said Opper, his primary goal to involve the viewer in "aesthetic response."

Opper's work is not without its influences. Color is often dark and soulful, reminiscent of Rothko's late paintings but without the weight of the tragic. The lateral movements of his shapes across the surface reflect Hofmann's modernist idiom. But Opper's paintings remain his own found territory, the best of which create playful yet seriously considered spaces that are uniquely the artist's.

Exhibition John Opper: Paintings from the 1960s and 1970s link
Start date 08 Feb 2018
End date 10 Mar 2018
Presenter Berry Campbell link
Venue 530 West 24th Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image John Opper, Broken Plains (#6), 1968, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 44 inches, courtesy of Berry Campbell Gallery

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