Monograph, Kramer

of contemporary urban life, with its mad, headlong, unappeased appetite for the extremes of existence, yet Lindner’s imagery is anything but a realistic ac- count of what impinges on the naked eye. He brings an uncanny and painstaking power of observation to his art, but the scene he depicts derives its peculiar force from the graver and more hilarious hyperbole of his own imagination – an imagination haunted by poetic equations between the past and the present. More and more I believe in the secret behavior of human beings, he once remarked, and as an artist he is, above all, the chronicler of this « secret life” – of all those unacknowledged fantasies and involuntary daydreams provoked by the social and erotic exacerbations of life lived in the maelstrom of the modern city. There is thus an element of the eager voyeur in Lindner’s vision, and a shrewd understanding of the voyeur in us, too, for his art compels the spectator to drop his mask of innocence and act as witness to his own forbidden, libidinous dreams. In Lindner’s universe there is neither innocence nor any trace of untouched nature; there is only experience and artifice. The style he has created for this chronicle of wayward, ungovernable fantasies is both extremely « objective and  brazenly  provocative. In its formal commitments, it is cool,


impersonal, and monolithic, with everything brought to a high finish. There is nothing of the sketch in it-though the paintings are, in fact, carefully worked out from schematic drawings of virtually every detail and no suggestion of improvisation or process. There is nothing of the « painterly » here. Lindner’s style is closer, in some respects, to the tight geometrical style of certain modes of abstraction than to the looser expressionist or realist styles that have traditionally been used in the depiction of urban life or to the romanticized classicism that the Surrealists brought to their portrayals of an interior dreamscape. He can almost be said to be a kind of constructivist who creates his immaculate structures of heads and torsos, of breasts and buttons and belts and lips and eyes, instead of the familiar inventory of squares and circles and triangles. There is always an extraordinary authority in the way Lindner constructs his pictures – a pictorial architecture that is as solid to the eye as a structure made of steel beams and concrete blocks. The light in these pictures is also akin to the kind of light we find in constructivist art – a light devoid of shading or chiaroscuro, a hard, bright, even light that derives from the artifices of technology and owes nothing to nature. The   very   coolness   of   Lindner’s   pictorial   methods,    the