Throughout her career, Tauba Auerbach has been interested in juxtaposing contradictory formal elements in her paintings, exploring what arises when the mind must reconcile two competing assumptions. For example, although the surface of Untitled (Fold) appears three-dimensional, the canvas is actually stretched flat. To create this pictorial illusion, Auerbach applied paint to a folded and creased canvas. After it dried, she stretched the canvas flat, but the painted areas record the canvas’s previous three-dimensionality and folds appear to remain. This interrelationship between real and painted depth means that paintings like this one are at once representational and abstract. Auerbach’s work challenges logic by holding these contradictory states—of representation and abstraction, of flatness and dimensionality—in equilibrium.
Label from The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, May 26–October 28, 2018