The ultimate claim is that painting after the collapse of painting could be more indexical than photography. The moment of contact was key, its ultimate goal to create comrade things that are more like lovers than friends, like the canvases of Mark Rothko, which are supposed to quicken in proximity effects like silky skin, if you don’t get distracted by the security guards. There is no truth beyond that; abstract expressionism does not need any veracity devices, save that of the romantic authorial biography, which now finds ways to connect and internalize truth as base matter, to intern it in a personal form whose process or “happening” is far more important than any material result. Kevan returns to painting after the crash of painting, a site all the more specific because it is linked to a very definite cultural tradition deployed as a knowledge weapon in the Cold War. At the same time, unlike the original abstract expressionism, these canvases are not made with the pretense of being high art; instead, they are abreactions that delve beyond the image into the world of matter, much more about the physical human use of creating and destroying on a flat picture plane, just to ride it out, get it over with, and constitute something on the other side.
...he knows how to make magic