Melissa Meyer fills canvases with loosely brushed curvy shapes. She paints Abstract Expressionist amoebas. Meyer’s paintings recall the elegance of second-generation Abstract Expressionism—the work of the mid-1950s. This artist doesn’t invent anything new. And when I saw her paintings a couple of years ago at the Rosemary Erpf Gallery, I didn’t find Meyer’s color or brushwork especially lively. She didn't seem to have the powerful artistic personality needed to give old conventions new life. Yet people I trust saw more in those Meyer paintings than I saw—they felt that Meyer believed in those curvy forms. And now, after seeing Meyer’s new paintings at the Holly Solomon Gallery in March, I think there must have been an element of conviction in those earlier Meyers that I missed. In the new paintings Meyer has achieved some depth; she’s done what people saw her trying to do in that earlier work. The forms...


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