Ronny Cohen

  • William Schwedler

    William Schwedler has a special place in recent American art. His death last year, at the age of 40, left an impressive pictorial legacy, surveyed in this memorial retrospective of paintings and works on paper. The display included work ranging from the early ’70s through the early ’80s—the period when the Chicago-born artist, then based in New York, found his own distinctive course. Deep concerns with image and surface are at the source of his vision’s persuasiveness.

    Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, Schwedler revealed traces of his hometown’s peculiar brand of funky representation in

  • James Biederman

    This show featured some of the most energized abstract art seen here this season. James Biederman’s painted wood sculptures and mixed media drawings, all executed in 1982, present an exciting new pictorial dimension of his vision.

    The sculptures are made of different-sized, angled wedges of wood screwed together in diagonally aligned, accordion like cascades. Installed at about eye level, these twisting, turning objects have a pictorial dynamism (a direct result of the fast-time specificity of their structures) which creates strong and immediate sensations of forms in jet-propelled flight. The

  • Timothy Woodman

    Timothy Woodman’s oil-painted aluminum reliefs continue to hold up a provocative mirror to both reality and fantasy. The subjects of these works, mostly from 1982, range from the grandly mythological to the merely mundane; they include figures such as Atlas and Midas as well as anonymous contemporary types—a Blind Person, for example—along with a broad array of activities as varied from each other as are Subduing a Gunman, 1981, Hanging Up a Coat, and Training a Tiger.

    Woodman cuts and paints thin curved sheets of aluminum into figures and props, which are installed directly on the wall. Visually,

  • Jackie Ferrara

    Since the early ’70s Jackie Ferrara has carved a niche for herself among the post-Minimalist artists investigating the relationship between sculpture and architecture. Working with narrow wood slats—pine, poplar, and birch are recurrent favorites—she has fashioned a category of forthright integral objects.

    These recent works offer Ferrara’s most challenging vision to date. In structural terms, A233 Borbek, 1982, like the other pieces here, lays itself out to the viewer. Distant observation reveals the precisely proportioned stackings of parts, while a close examination shows the heads of the

  • Elie Nadelman

    Elie Nadelman was probably the most influential but most controversial sculptor in the school of Paris which dominated Modernist developments before World War I. A contemporary of Picasso, he shared with progressive artists of that generation the desire to create a truly renovated art expression that would be in tune with the emerging sensibility. As early as 1910 he had evolved an abstract approach to the figure; though not one to play the art-politics games that can help greatly to spread and secure fame, Nadelman was highly respected for the maturity of his vision, but the sophisticated,

  • Henry Khudyakov

    Since the early-20th-century avant-garde movements of Italian Futurism and Russian Constructivism, clothes design has proved to be a stimulating and prolific area of inspiration for artists who aspire to break down the barriers between art and life. In a recent one-person show, “Visionary nonwearables E.S.P. ionage,” Henry Khudyakov examined the issue anew.

    The show consisted of this Russian-born artist’s personal line of fantasy fashions, including vests, jackets, ties, and T-shirts, and a group of related paintings and drawings. The fashions are based on mass-produced, moderately priced,

  • Susan Hall

    Susan Hall walks boldly on the magical side of realism. Her recent works offer prime-time viewing in the pictorial “Twilight Zone,” where the familiar is fantastic, where seeing is not necessarily knowing. In this group of recent drawings and paintings Hall is returning to (but not limited by) subjects that have interested her since the early ’70s—women, travel, etc. In both mediums the aim is the same—to make a rich, emotional, psychologically loaded art and to suggest deliciously mysterious experience. Her means is a tension-filled relationship between form and content articulated with a

  • Tod Wizon

    Tod Wizon has taken one of the most worked-over categories of paintings in modern art (landscape) and managed to do something fresh and interesting with it. Executed in small formats, they range from 73/4-inch squares to 30-by 40-inch rectangles.

    As images, Wizon’s paintings have a striking, jump-off-the-wall immediacy, pinning the viewer down with screaming color contrasts—sharp reds, greens, yellows—and then sweeping the viewer away with a swirl of planar rhythms. Perceptual responses give way to associative ones as each work suggests various romantic, symbolist, expressionist art sources, and

  • Robert Donley

    Chicago is famous for having cultivated a funky, figurative kind of painting, naively expressionist in style, weird, fantastic or vulgar in subject, and obsessive—filling the canvas completely—in presentation. The aim is to make the most outrageous vision seem uncomfortably real by assaulting the viewer on multiple associative-psychological fronts.

    Such musings are immediately brought to mind by the first New York show of recent paintings and drawings by ROBERT DONLEY, a Chicago-based artist. Donley treats the subject of 20th-century warfare in a series of synthetic landscapes. Somewhere

  • Christopher Wilmarth

    Since the late ’60s, Christopher Wilmarth has made the emotive potential in abstract form a major issue in his sculptures. His current works, “Gnomon’s Parade,” are no exception. Like earlier examples—“Nine Clearings for a Standing Man” comes to mind—simple geometric shapes, repeated structures and serial presentation are stressed.

    Still, what separates this group from earlier fare is the more aggressive and individualistic attitudes towards the issue of emotivity.

    Tall and looking very constructed, these sculptures are made of steel and glass and have bar-shaped parts which project themselves

  • Tom Wesselmann

    Not surprisingly, what’s at issue in Tom Wesselmann’s recent show is a Pop art sensibility. Of course, Wesselmann, one of Pop’s really big boys, shocked audiences with explicitly sexy images, particularly in his “Great American Nude” series. However, while sex could still provoke audiences in the ’60s, it’s hardly scandalous in the ’80s. There’s a hint of Pop naughtiness—and feeling naughty is a response rarely provoked by today’s figurative fare—in Wesselmann’s treatment of the Dropped Bra. In true Pop fashion, the bra is executed in a variety of media, materials, colors and sizes. The presentation

  • Ed McGowin

    ED McGOWIN’s recent exhibition consisted of a small group of sculptures, which he calls “inscapes,” and related drawings. Inscapes involve painting and sculpture, the object, tableau, performance, story-telling, and conceptual/autobiographical investigations. Drawing on his experience as painter and sculptor, McGowin makes each inscape both a highly pictorial and a constructed affair. Children’s Piece, for one, is a three-dimensional pyramid with a two-tiered enamel tile base, consisting of bright contrasting colors—blues, reds, greens—and wood and plaster sides. It contains colored plexiglass

  • Beverly Pepper

    In contrast to her horizontally disposed “Web” series of 1976-77, characterized by dynamic and precarious-looking arrangements of welded steel slats, BEVERLY PEPPER’s new works are vertically oriented, stable and contained. Their origins are in a group of small cast pieces, made first in wood, in 1977. They also allude to ancient monumental sculpture—particularly Roman columns and obelisks. But far from aping any ancient originals, Pepper’s columns, spirals, wedges, and gateways are highly individualized and have a bold, aggressive cut and no-nonsense strength about them, distinctly American,

  • Seeing Between the Pages

    TO ASK WHAT FILIPPO TOMMASO MARINETTI, the poet-founder of Futurism, and People, the blockbuster magazine of the 1970s, have in common is to raise the issue of modernist art’s relation to the media, which, ever with us, is at the heart of this discussion. What links them is, first and foremost, the modernist revolution in typography and layout which really got going with Marinetti and was put to the test with People. Then, not unrelated to the above, there’s their contents to consider. Both embrace all of life, celebrate its dynamic and dissonant qualities, turn it into a cult of personality.