Christopher Knight

  • Jay McCafferty

    It is difficult to look at Jay McCafferty’s solar burn collages without conjuring up metaphors of the artist as Promethean figure. With a magnifying lens as net, McCafferty captures the sun’s rays and focuses them onto grid points on the ink-washed surfaces of layered vellum paper. The paper burns, creating erratic shapes which ultimately penetrate and expose other layers. In many of the works, charred bits of painted paper have been collaged to the top layer, yielding incredibly fragile, visually seductive surfaces. The natural “destruction” of the burned paper is pulled together by the applied

  • Vija Celmins

    Vija Celmins’ fifteen year retrospective is characterized by an almost obsessively meditative point of view in intimate renderings of an airless, utterly silent world.

    The early ’70s graphite drawings of the surface of the Pacific Ocean for which she is most known find their antecedents in all-gray oil paintings of awkward goose-neck lamps and TV sets and in freeway views executed in the mid-1960s. Occasional detours appear—like the six-foot Comb sculpture plucked whole from Magritte’s 1952 painting, Personal Values, and deposited in the gallery—but even these rather empty exercises contain seeds

  • Jay Phillips

    It seems like it’s always the simple words that take up several column inches in the dictionary, so numerous are the shadings of their meaning. “Field” is one such word, with, according to my Webster’s, 38 lines of type explaining 19 variations on the theme. Quite a useful word and, to get to the matter at hand, quite appropriate in many of its senses to discussing JAY PHILLIPS’ paintings.

    Bright, neon enamels, sometimes embedded with light-catching glitter flecks, are poured, brushed and sprayed onto small fields of aluminum. The metal is gently curved so as to be freestanding, or it is cut,

  • Robert Janz

    For the past 15 years Robert Janz has been producing what he calls “nomadic” art. Compact, portable, adaptable, transient, recyclable, his work involves open-ended propositions. Different sets of stick sculptures can be arranged and rearranged in an infinite number of variations within preordained conceptual limits. Some are keyed to specific sites (any arrangement in a doorway, any arrangement in a glade), while those in this exhibition specify the method of arrangement (all sticks in contact with each other, all sticks at right angles). All incorporate a sense of play, almost like matchstick

  • Manuel Felguerez

    Constructivism, like its International-Style architectural cousin, can easily degenerate into an inert sterility. The utopian dream of sparkling clarity in spatial organization for the creation of liberating environments has emerged, as often as not, as restrictive containment, spit and polish for the eye and brain.

    Manuel Felguerez’ sculpture is firmly lodged in the constructivist tradition. Much of the work on view is the result of a collaboration in 1976 at Harvard University with Mayer Sasson, an electrical engineer. They developed a mathematical model from eight basic shapes in the artist’s

  • Don Sorenson

    Don Sorenson structures his paintings with webs of zig-zag lines set diagonally in opposition to the vertical or horizontal canvas format. This surface “drawing” has remained fairly constant for the past several years with the major variation occurring in the under-painting. This time out, the underpainting consists of broad strokes of color in gradations from warm to cool, intense to muted, light to dark, creating a shallow, indeterminate space. The overlay of lightning bolts, themselves ordered by a complex color system, results in highly vertiginous paintings.

    Practically everything about

  • Nicholas Africano

    If Seurat’s dictum that painting is “the art of hollowing out a surface” were true, then Nicholas Africano’s work wouldn’t qualify. Africano paints figures in literal bas-relief, awkward, lumpish characters built up of painted wax on a monochromatic field. The High Wire, a group of four new paintings that are almost identical in composition, presents a figure in mid-stride, balancing precariously on a thin tightrope as he journeys across the gray-blue canvas.

    Africano was at one time a writer of short, nondiscursive prose that attempted to create direct, immediate images with words. Slowly, he

  • Guy De Cointet

    Guy De Cointet weaves abstraction and language together in deliberately theatrical performances that can only be described as elegant. American abstract art in the early 20th century was, in the critical view championed by Willard Huntington Wright, adamant in its rejection of the “extraneous” element of literature in art. De Cointet’s Tell Me is, in his words, “a performance about language and abstraction, and how they are perceived by the mind and the senses.” Monologue, dialogue, sign language, song, and, if you’ll excuse the expression, body language are played off abstract forms, objects,

  • Robert Irwin

    If, as many maintain, space is the most salient area of inquiry in 20th-century art, reading space to determine one’s location within it, physically and conceptually, becomes an essential task. In the vernacular, “far out,” “into” and “spaced out” point to the body-centered sensation that determines space and place, and which historically has been manifest most clearly in architecture. Site-specific art and quite a bit of recent architecturally derived sculpture have dealt with this determination of space and place. Central to this form of perception is the haptic sense, that bodily sense which