echo echo: Linda Matalon at Blackston

Linda Matalon, Untitled (triptych), 2011. Wax and graphite on paper, overall 43 1/2 x 11 inches. Image courtesy of Blackston, New York.

The artist Linda Matalon, who came of age in the late 1970s and early 80s, introduces a recent suite of drawings at Blackston gallery on view through April 14th. Matalon’s whispering abstractions expand upon the well-known post-Minimalist vocabulary with an expressive approach to materials and gestures that range from improvisational to rigorous. Executed on large sheets of paper saturated with wax, the works have an object-like dimensionality and vellum-like luminosity. Their sparse, quiet surfaces, worked in wax and graphite, vacillate between airy traceries and robust geometries that are often suggestive of natural landscapes or figures. The muted tones are a function of the materials Matalon uses that have come to define her singular aesthetic. Embodying both absence and presence, the resultant graphite forms and lines are carefully calibrated (simultaneously built up and erased) as though every square inch of the paper is considered. With the wax retaining each hand-rendered mark and scuff, the drawings are records of their own making.

Linda Matalon, Untitled, 2010. Wax and graphite on paper, overall 19 x 25 inches. Image courtesy of Blackston, New York.


Minimally installed and generously spaced throughout the gallery, en masse the drawings form a sculptural installation unto themselves.  However, as you approach them, linear structures dissolve or expand, offering important lessons in self-reflective perception. In an age of technological innovation, most of the time our senses are overloaded and over-determined; however, Matalon’s drawings invest in a more quiet sublime and inspire a certain optimism in the viewer. Lingering in that moment of contact, what is barely perceptible becomes thoroughly legible and known.


Linda Matalon, echo echo (installation view), 2013. Image courtesy of Blackston, New York.

 –Joanna Kleinberg Romanow, Assistant Curator


echo echo is on view at Blackston, located at 29C Ludlow Street, through April 14, 2013.