Abstract Illusionism

DeWitt Cheng The term Abstract Illusionism was used in the 1970s and 1980s to describe a kind of contemporary trompe-l’oeil, fool-the-eye paintings; realistic shading and pictorial space were employed for abstract expressionist paint blobs and drips, creating a kind of hybrid of abstract and realist art. I use the term here to suggest the dual nature of these works, hovering between abstraction and representation. Yari Ostovany’s luminous abstractions, with their mists of colored vapor dispersed here and there by soft-edged vistas of paint drips running at right angles—the Cubist grid as orthogonal precipitation—may remind viewers […]

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