Color and composition are Matt Connors’s chief tools of the trade. In his new exhibition of abstract paintings at Canada, “Body Forth,” tweaking of largely just those two properties produces canvases dissimilar in size, palette, movement, density, and feeling. The show’s press release, which meditates on the 1971 film Minnie & Moskowitz, describes Connors’s “agonizing” process to decide which yellow to paint his studio trim, a hue that appears in some of his paintings here, along with his drawing formal inspiration from other sources, like the windows at Dia Beacon.
Connors’s palette also includes black, the hue that suggests the absence of color. In some paintings, such as Data & Recognition (2022), a graphite grid atop a ground of gentle creams and pastels quietly girds a large, black shape resembling a human silhouette. Frantic Comedown (2022) features thick black lines that resemble eye floaters, while in Deglove (2021), swaths of black tint hold the piece together.
A large, somewhat ambiguous piece of black furniture—part-bureau and part-bookshelf, mostly empty save for a small painting nestled in a door-sized aperture—takes center stage between two pillars, a nod to the Ryan Precido furniture-laden exhibition at Canada’s space next door. This points to another pair of influences or methods of work, less visible than color: book publishing and creative collaboration. An untitled Connors piece is on view in Precido’s concurrent exhibition, and a book by the two will be published to accompany the show. —Lisa Yin Zhang
Matt Connors, Data & Recognition, 2022. Acrylic and pencil on canvas, 60 × 51 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Canada Gallery.