|ROSS BLECKNER, MAUREEN PALEY INTERIM ART
Last chance to see the paintings of one of the United State's most successful contemporary artists. Ross Bleckner came to the fore during the late 1980s as part of the Simulationsit of Neo-Geo vogue, but certainly should not now be thus labelled. Earlier work played with conventions of minimalist painting, infiltrating decorative bows into op-art striped, for example. But his paintings quickly began to display a broody Gothic mood quite at odds with the detached irony of his contemporaries. Bleckner's is a world suffused with norturnal light, with quiet menace, but also it is one that at times ends up seeming a bit melodramatic, even campy. Bleckner is gay and this is often signalled in his work, such as in a series which engaged movingly with the legacy of Aids. In his best works, he manages to combine this quality of pathos with moments of Grand Guignol, and not make them seem mutually exclusive.
In the group of works at Interim Art, we see evidence of his lates preoccupations - the microscopic world of cells, more of less overtly described. What comes as a pleasant surprise after seeing so many Bleckners in reproduction but so few in the flesh, is the rich variety of techniques, creating a delicate balancing act between control and chance. he drops paint on to smoothed-out surfaced, and these spread into rounded forms that overlap each other semi-transparently, or he paints strange, interlacing, ganglion-like forms out of washes of murky colour. But Bleckner's is a tenebrous landscape that only just stays the right side of Hollywood.