Douglas Meyer's new paintings at Newspace Gallery are restless. They are abstractions, with small circles, diamonds and rectangles distributed across whitened surfaces that are sometimes smooth and sometimes mottled. But they are also referential, evoking flow charts, family trees, musical arrangements or any number of schemes by which meaning is derived and order imposed on forms that would otherwise dissolve into randomness.
It seems that Meyer has also fashioned an allegory of painting. How fortuitous that his own painting is so seductive, with translucent areas alternating with surfaces so thick they appear to have been stuccoed, rectangles so smooth and clearly demarcated they resemble paint chips and backgrounds as amorphous as atmospheric haze.
A rigid geometry is the guiding principle here, yet the work vibrates with resistance to its own theory. Meyer grafts the form of reason onto the spirit of subterfuge. The result is quite something.
* Newspace, 5241 Melrose Ave., (213) 469-9353, through Oct. 23. Closed Sundays and Mondays.