Alan Wayne is a self-taught painter who has established himself as a rigorous abstractionist. His latest batch of canvases have no truck with anything the least bit pretty or soft around the edges. Time after time, he simply presents ultra-wide H shapes by connecting two upright, solid-color canvases with one or two horizontal ones. The resulting structures may be all black or black with white, gray or ochre. A single work, displayed in the office, breaks the mold by staggering two horizontal strips of bright blue and white.
One has to admire Wayne's tenacity and commitment to hard-edge, geometric abstraction in the face of the art world's stylistic confusion and revivalist spirit. At the same time, it's almost impossible to be moved by these big, mute paintings. We look in vain for some surface inflection, spatial tension or gestalt impact, but find only a respectable continuation of tradition. (Newspace, 5241 Melrose Ave., to March 12.)