Ronny Cohen

  • Luigi Ontani

    One of the most distinctive figurative visions around is offered by Italian artist Luigi Ontani. Although best known in the ’70s as a performance artist, he has turned his attentions increasingly in the ’80s toward making pictures. Recent paintings and watercolors reveal that the source of his individuality lies in that most precious of creative commodities: imagination. Inspired by both the grand Western and Eastern traditions of poetic image-making, he finds his subjects in classical myths, in legends about the Christian saints, in themes from Italian art and literature, as well as in Hindu

  • Dorothea Rockburne

    As an abstract painter Dorothea Rockburne is in a class by herself. Going beyond the mere act of fixing form in space, Rockburne has found a way to a higher sentient realm in which constructive art is synonymous with heightened consciousness. Paintings like Extasie, 1983–84, Narcissus, 1982–85, Capernaum, Gate, 1982–85, and Guide, 1984–85, all featured in this exhibition, are truly breathtaking.

    At first glance, the irregular geometries of these paintings appeal directly to our sense of reason. But the more we take stock of the harmony Rockburne makes of these shapes, with their multiple edges

  • Roxi Marsen

    Although many still prefer art made the idea-oriented, Modernist way (and I put the media appropriators in this bag), the ’80s have seen a growing dissatisfaction, even an uneasiness, with much of the predictable, overly derivative fare around, the inevitable product of programmatic thought. Yet the notion that art should be meaningful is as strong as ever, with people seeming to want more and not less from art. This may explain the growing interest, particularly among younger artists, in primitive and other pre-Modernist sources. Giotto, for example, has become one of the hot topics and influences

  • Harvey Tulcensky

    This may sound paradoxical, but the best thing to have happened to contemporary abstraction is neo-Expressionism. All the attention given the much-heralded return of the figure and of psychological subjects in nee-Expressionism has encouraged, I think, the open and inclusive attitude in much abstract art these days. This attitude is certainly present in the recent paintings of Harvey Tulcensky.

    Working in a bold graphic style, Tulcensky limits himself in each painting to a single, or at most a few, geometric motifs—ovals, lozenges, or arcs, for example. By repeating and varying the configuration

  • Janis Provisor

    The main inspiration for Janis Provisor’s recent paintings and works on paper is her fascination with the rocky terrain of Colorado, where she recently settled. In several examples massive structures reminiscent of monumental calcified cliffs appear, while other shapes bring to mind boulders and flora typical of the Southwest. Working in large scale, in oil and metal leaf, Provisor sounds an intriguing iconic note in these landscapes; big enough physically to seem to invite entry, they nevertheless signal viewers to keep their distance. For while the rich, densely textured surfaces serve as a

  • Richard Stankiewicz

    Richard Stankiewicz brought the force of his imagination to bear on reality and during a distinguished thirty-year career created an original body of work which continues to impress. As revealed by this retrospective of reliefs from 1953 to 1981, the artist, who died in 1983, at the age of 60, left a considerable mark on contemporary sculpture.

    Stankiewicz took an inherently pictorial and boldly improvisational approach to relief. The frame, that primordial symbol of painting, was a running motif in his art in this mode, turning up in different guises through various periods of the work. In an

  • Randal Rupert

    Randal Rupert is one of the few artists delving into the relationship of image and idea, structure and sensation, who is notoverwhelmed by either the magnitude of the issues or the difficulty of the content involved. Since the late ’70s, Rupert has been developing an original, boldly suggestive brand of representational painting which penetrates on the deepest level the distinctive way that urban people see today. Rupert’s paintings are active, indeed confrontational pictures which demand attention. The means used is a unique fast-time presentation which instantly changes form into information,

  • Holly Hughes

    Although strongly identified with the much heralded revival of figuration, the ’80s, I predict, will also be known for innovative abstraction. Approaches toward abstraction are changing, particularly among artists currently younger than their mid 30s. Compared to their colleagues who entered the art scene in the ’60s and ’70s, this group is generally less involved with spinning theories or elaborating formal dos and don’ts, and more interested in exploring and heightening the visual aspect of their art. A new sort of abstraction, which I would call sentient abstraction, has emerged, and it


    LOOK AT THE ART AROUND. Do you believe it, or better yet do you believe in it? Does it have the power to move or delight? Is it marvelous, does it mystify? Too much of what is being made today is pseudoart—things that at first glance may have the look of art. What differentiates pseudoart from art is imagination.

    It takes imagination to transform the familiar into the fantastic, to reveal the truth in the mundane, to pave a visual pathway to the unknown. A vision without imagination is one-dimensional, far too limited in scope and limiting in outlook to make more than an initial impact which

  • Peggy Cyphers

    One mark of artistic vision is the ability to create a pictorial world in which everything looks distinctive and nothing appears contrived. This is a mark difficult to attain, but it has been hit, and right on target, in the recent work of Peggy Cyphers. This young New York abstract painter seeks that critical edge where form emerges with feeling, space suggests situation, and image turns into idea. The means she uses are both visual and conceptual. The energetic material qualities of Cyphers’ pictures make them resound as physical and perceptible things, and in the process liberate the paintings’

  • Judith Shea

    Judith Shea offers the most exciting and significant sculptural vision of the figure seen in New York this season. Her latest works are capable of arousing the deepest feelings in their audience. Although best known for her pioneering achievements in bridging the gap between art and fashion, Shea’s current pieces are very much in the sculptural mainstream. Remaining true to her distinctive way of seeing, she continues to make forms related to clothing, and to turn toward personal objectives the value of clothes as cultural signs; however, her means and ends are directed to the major challenge

  • William Dole

    Collage is a medium capable of incorporating elements of drawings, prints, photographs, and paintings, and as such it is probably the most enigmatic and elusive means of expression in 20th-century art. The technique offers endless formal and thematic possibilities, and it is a demanding discipline which tests both an artist’s imagination and his or her powers of communication. Still, many collages today are only pleasant to look at or only interesting to think about. Rare are the examples that move us intellectually and emotionally in the way that good drawings, prints, photographs, and paintings