1. These are paintings of prisons, cells and walls.
2. Here, the idealist square becomes the prison. Geometry is revealed as confinement.
3. The cell is a reminder of the apartment house, the hospital bed, the school desk-the isolated endpoints of industrial structure.
4. The paintings are a critique of idealist modernism. In the “color field” is placed a jail. The misty space of Rothko is walled up.
5. Underground conduits connect the units. “Vital fluids” flow in and out.
6. The “stucco” texture is a reminiscence of motel ceilings.
7. The Day-Glo paint is a signifier of “low budget mysticism.” It is the afterglow of radiation.
Notes on the Paintings, 1982
"For me, this is an ideal period for an artist to be involved in issues of color. Technology is offering up increasingly spectacular coloristic effects in film, television, and on the computer screen. New intensely colored materials are entering architecture and industrial design. Advertising has transformed every corner of our environment into garish but enticing coloristic vignettes. The coloristic intensity of our built environment leaves me bewildered that color has not become a central theme in the work of other artists". — 1998
"In 1980, I moved back to New York City, where I had grown up. What impressed me there, on a very immediate level, was the functional role that geometry served in a giant metropolis – the role that geometry had in housing and in moving people, in commerce, and in control of everyday life. I began to see the city as something of a geometric machine in which geometry was the most efficient way of moving people and things". — 1990
"…Thus, at the beginning of the 1980’s, I began to reexamine the nature of geometry in art and its symbolic role in culture. For the most part, geometry had always been considered as something classical, timeless, and ahistorical, as something divorced from the social landscape. In fact, geometry is often described as an a priori structure of human thought – that we naturally think in terms of geometric configurations and organization. I felt the need to challenge these assumptions based on my own growing intuitive perceptions of the city as functional machine". — 1990