Asse is a monochromatic painter whose surfaces hardly ever coalesce into a solid, undifferentiated color. It might be more accurate to call her a tonalist, whose muted palette consists of different hues of what is called “Asse bleu,” with a few lines of red, wisps of white, and fields of smooth, stony grays. In 1980, Roland Penrose wrote of Asse’s work: “Blue is the color of silence, of dreams and of endless space.” He went on to say that he was “enchanted by this image of infinity.” Although Asse works in the domain of monochrome painting and geometric abstraction, she is the opposite of such objective-minded artists as Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt. For all of her restraint and rigor, her paintings are intensely subjective, focusing on faint hints of light and barely legible traces of space.
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