Ronny Cohen

  • Carmen Cicero

    The grand tradition of Western symbolic painting lives on, although sharply redirected toward decidedly personal ends, in the work of Carmen Cicero. At 58, this New York artist offers one of the freshest figurative visions around. With an approach that is allegorical in a purely visual rather than any literary sense, Cicero emerges as more the suggester and the seducer than the storyteller. The kind of artist who seems to relish the challenge of tackling difficult-to-describe situations and feelings, he is capable of striking through to the complex and contradictory sensations at life’s core.

  • Ramiro Llona

    Ramiro Llona offers a truly sentient vision, one resoundingly in tune with the aggressive visual sensibility of the ’80s. He is a powerful painter in the daring, don’t-play-it-safe tradition of a Pablo Picasso or a Willem de Kooning. With his intense palette and his ability to evoke mood through high-keyed color combinations and to suggest situations through ambiguous forms, Llona pushed his painting to new expressive heights in this show of recent work.

    These paintings and drawings feature a shifting, fractured, multifaceted space, which plays in sometimes startling but always engaging ways with

  • Susan Laufer

    A fascinating development in current painting is the rise of what I call the sentient image. Part of the reactive fallout from the reductive attitudes of Minimalism, the sentient image, the form that resonates with feeling and a newly aggressive visuality, is a manifestation of today’s desire for a truly serious and meaningful art. It is very much present in the recent paintings and drawings of Susan Laufer, and accounts in no small way for their strong appeal.

    Working with a technique recalling fresco on Masonite and wood panels, and incorporating relief elements, this New York artist turns the

  • Leo Rabkin

    This show’s selection of recent mixed media boxes and pastel drawings by the veteran American artist Leo Rabkin revealed a keen sensitivity to palpable things and perceptible forms. Rabkin’s vision is firmly rooted in the plainly visible, tangible, and knowable. Still, there is a freewheeling, whimsical edge to his vision, an expressive effervescence which sets off enough imaginative sparks to ignite and sustain interest.

    Based on old cigar and antique boxes and decorated with different geometric patterns (a few belonging to the original boxes, some collaged on, but most painted on the outside

  • Nicholas Africano

    These recent paintings from Nicholas Africano’s “Petrouchka” and “Evelina” series possess a haunting, otherworldly grace and beauty, like that experienced with Old Master painting but rarely with contemporary art. The remarkable strength of these works depends on their urgency as images. Africano has been known for his narrative interests since the ’70s; in these recent series he has sought to give expression to a deeply humanistic content involving nothing less than the ineffable conditions of existence. The means, however, are emphatically visual and iconic, relying on pictorial qualities to

  • Simone Gad

    Simone Gad casts a bright light on one of the more pervasive yet hard-to-pin-down trends in contemporary American culture. Since the mid-’70s, this Los Angeles artist has focused on Hollywood nostalgia, turning a wry and appreciative eye on its iconic ways and glamorous means. Gad, born in Belgium, grew up in Hollywood, and worked there as an actress in the ’50s; she is well qualified to tackle the complex sensibility of Tinseltown, and to go behind both its gloss and its dross. Her recent work gets to the heart of what Hollywood represents for the baby-boom generation weaned on its TV programs

  • Alison Saar

    In her first solo outing in New York, the young West Coast artist Alison Saar gets to the heart of the issue of the artwork as magical object. Working with a variety of simple materials, including bits and pieces of tin, wood, sticks, wire, twine, linoleum, and pottery, she assembles freestanding, pedestal, and relief sculptures which sharply express archetypal emotions and fears about love, beauty, sex, and death. Art history and black American culture seem the major sources, but the originality of the treatments transcends influences.

    In Whodo That Voodoo, 1984, Saar represents the mysterious

  • Steve Wood

    Although it has been greatly overshadowed by the attention accorded neo-Expressionism and the general enthusiasm greeting other current trends of figuration, the emergence of a content-charged abstraction is the other major development of the early ’80s. Whether in two or in three dimensions, on the floor, off the wall, or in mixed media, today’s abstract art wears a new, appealing, and boldly pictorial face. Several shows in New York over the 1983–84 season indicated the widespread range of expression related to this development, including this show of recent sculptures by Steve Wood.

    Except

  • Judy Rifka

    The sensibility that governs the way we see today is based on the appeal of synthetic imagery perceived in fast time. Over the years, Judy Rifka has investigated different aspects of this kind of imagery, including its media underpinnings. Her recent paintings push the sensibility into a new, epic dimension which rates close attention.

    Several examples dealing with the theme of war succeed in moving the viewer unusually powerfully. The means is a keen ability to subvert the distancing effect of the media’s instantaneous portrayals of war, an ability to build emotion into the very structure of

  • Angela Ho

    Contemporary sculpture has become a wide-open, eminently expansive activity. What has come to matter more than questions of material or technique is the artist’s ability to imbue form with feeling and create a real and most importantly a communicative object. Angelo Ho is one of the few younger figurative sculptors who can do all this and more. For the last eight years she has chosen to work in marble, and she has successfully updated this most venerable of sculptural materials into a new and relevant means of expression.

    In the work here, Ho reconciles past and present with insight and imagination.

  • Suzanne Joelson

    Suzanne Joelson directly engages the distinctive way of seeing central to the emerging pictorial sensibility of the ’80s. Poised at the critical junctures separating abstract from figurative and image from ground, her large canvases project sparkling impressions of a mysterious and ultimately sentient space. Under sustained scrutiny the brushy surfaces come to visual life, seem to shift and shake, reluctantly yielding the fragments of recognizable imagery they contain.

    In Spot Lights, 1983, for example, an exciting cascade of pigment at the lower left reveals a panting dog. Its rendering is

  • Jack Chevalier

    Much of the mainstream art of the ’60s, from the stained canvases of Morris Louis on, was flat. Those works and the critical thought surrounding them preached the pure virtues of flatness as the key to the distinctive nature of painting and sculpture. It took the pluralistic ’70s to shake out the reductive, doctrinaire, contained approach to art represented by ’60s abstraction, in particular of the minimalist persuasion; concomitantly, the ’70s paved the way for the current expansive approach to art represented on one level by the return of the relief.

    Relief is to the ’80s what flatness was to