Critics’ Picks: Vancouver Brent Wadden

Andrew Witt, Artforum, January 29, 2018

The surfaces of Brent Wadden’s large woven geometric abstractions repel one’s attention. The combination of chroma and line prevents one from becoming fully absorbed in either element, similar to the interaction of color and pattern in the compositions of Bridget Riley. Lines waver in the warp and weft of these works, which the artist calls paintings. Even though pieces such as Score 1 (Salt Spring) (all works cited, 2018) resemble the hard-edge abstractions of the previous century, and although the artist usually stretches the weavings around a support, that classification seems strangely anathema, if not wholly self-limiting. What is lost in the discussion of such medium-specific particulars are the peculiar ways in which the works’ nonrepresentational maneuvers intersect with the poetics of everyday life.