Craig Kauffman
Acrylic and lacquer on vacuum-formed Plexiglas, 1968
22 1/2 x 52 x 12 1/2 inches
Gift of the Ruth and Murray Gribin Trust

Noted for their sensual, pearlescent colors and shapes, Craig Kauffman’s bubbles evade principles of conventional painting and sculpture. No brushstrokes are apparent, and the surface of the bubble is slick plastic. The bubble itself sits out from the wall in high relief, placing it more in the realm of objects than of paintings, and despite its horizontal orientation, its bulging lozenge shape frustrates attempts to identify any traditional figure/ground relationship.

The bubbles are like spectral images that persist in space without visible means of support. These objects express a curious inherent duality—they are both dematerialized and sensuous at the same time, more like a pleasurable memory than a hard fact. Kauffman enhances the effect in this particular bubble, as the wet pastel pink makes subtle reference to the female form. The artist’s bubbles exude a palpable feeling of visual seduction and directly speak to the pleasures of seeing, and of the senses.