Ronny Cohen

  • Jason Stewart

    Relief is also a major concern for Jason Stewart, who showed recent unique cast-bronze wall pieces and works on paper. So strong is the movement implied by the graceful sweeping form of Der Vogel von Kreuzberg, 1983, a bronze in which various rectangular and blade-shaped elements are arranged in contrasting diagonals, that it appears to soar off the wall. Adding to the sensation of flight is the refraction of light caused by the rough treatment of the surfaces. In A Man on Fire, 1983, the subtle interplay of overlapped edges becomes an expressive as well as a formal device; although the work’s

  • Frank Lobdell

    This show directs attention to a paramount issue in art that has received too little critical attention lately. I am talking about spiritual content, which is, admittedly, one of the most elusive aspects of the visual experience to express, either in pictures or words. On both counts, Wassily Kandinsky stands high: over seventy years ago, in his breakthrough pictures of the Munich period and the influential related essay, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” (1912), he demonstrated the esthetic breadth and significance of this issue with visionary fervor and insightful genius.

    Among the contemporary


    Pablo Picasso still is It where the course of Modern art is concerned. Only his death in 1973 at the age of 91 could stop his overwhelming production and open the way for a long overdue reevaluation of his career. Among the most exciting and relevant revisions is the new view of “late Picasso” put forth by Gert Schiff, the Modern art historian and curator of the first comprehensive show on Picasso’s last ten years, 1963–73, held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, from March 2 to May 6, 1984. I conducted the following interview with Schiff on July 25, 1983, in New York City. The

  • “Cubist Illustrated Books In Context”

    Though hardly a novel notion, recognition of the importance of graphic media in spreading artistic ideas has only come into its own in recent examinations of early-20th-century “isms.” Through the ’60s, the American approach stressed painting and sculpture as the main signposts of visual development, and relegated drawing, prints, and particularly the design media to the back burners. All this began to change with the emergence of the issues of the ’70s; as contemporary concerns shifted toward the alternative media, we started to look for new things in the past.

    One of the major legacies of the

  • “Monumental Prints”

    Both artists in this show, Georg Baselitz and Rolf Iseli, offer a distinctive vision worthy of inspection in its own right, but the subject of this discussion is the general/issue that both address here, namely, “monumental prints.” It is no secret to art audiences today that paintings have gotten larger; so too have prints and drawings. While the reasons for this can vary according to the individual artist, the development toward big, bigger, biggest is related to a heightened interest in the pictorial. Transcending media, this sensibility helps to blur the traditional distinctions between

  • Douglas Abdell

    This show was an eye-opener on several levels. It displayed the formidable painting skills of an artist who first made his mark in the early ’70s as an abstract sculptor, and it underscored the need to consider the spiritual as a major issue in the art of the ’80s.

    Douglas Abdell’s deep and abiding interest in language, and particularly in the relationships between words, images, sounds, and shapes, are evident throughout these recent paintings. Working on wooden panels constructed from found packing frames as well as on canvas, he creates unforgettable pictures of energized visual poetry. Abdell

  • Ron Nagle

    Besides really big pictures, will the ’80s also be remembered for the return of really small objects to mainstream consideration? After all, much attention has been focused on the sheer physical ambitiousness of recent really big pictures by, say, Julian Schnabel and others. Still, current artistic tastes also run in a decidedly intimate direction whose peculiar concerns were tellingly addressed by West Coast artist Ron Nagle in his show of small ceramic sculpture.

    Born in San Francisco in 1939, Nagle studied with Peter Voulkos and Kenneth Price. Like them, he can turn traditional ceramic materials

  • Donald Lipski

    Donald Lipski called this ambitious, multiple-piece installation “Building Steam.” The title, according to the brief statement in the catalogue accompanying the show, refers to James Watt’s invention of the steam engine in the 18th century, “inaugurating the Industrial Age which is now drawing to a close.” But the phrase also clues us into the compression and release of the artist’s creative energy as the source of the fascination of the 62 works here, which filled two rooms. The display was a daring tour de force examination of the materialized spirit of 20th-century consumer culture.


  • Robert Levin

    The ’80s should be remembered as a decade in which even more of the remaining traditional barriers separating contemporary craft and fine arts came tumbling down. A recent case in point was this show of works by Robert Levin, a glassblower who turns his technical expertise toward the creation of a new breed of emotive and energetic small sculptures.

    Levin retains certain recognizable features of familiar forms in his vessel shapes—the curved lips of a cup, say—but incorporates them in new shapes and structures. In Motion Vessel #5, for example, he fuses various pieces of glass, cut into hornlike

  • Jack Tworkov

    Jack Tworkov enjoyed an exceptionally long and productive career. A charter member of the New York School, he first made his reputation as an Abstract Expressionist painter in the ’50s. In the mid-’60s, however, he turned away from the subjective, emotional bias implicit in Abstract Expressionism in favor of a clear-cut structural approach that he continued to develop until his death last year at the age of 82. The work in this show, dating from 1978 to 1982, reveals the power, persuasiveness, and pictorial probity of Tworkov’s late vision.

    Tworkov’s obvious fascination with perspectival play

  • Robin Tewes

    Robin Tewes’ first solo show in New York was a timely reminder of her distinctive place in the ranks of younger American figurative painters. Since 1979, Tewes has developed a unique vision of people in everyday situations, notable for its searingly direct presentation of information and its strong emotional impact. She is among the small group of painters today who challenge viewers to see life as it is and not through the mitigating, cosmetic lens of the media.

    Tewes uses photographs as reminders for her work, as do many of her contemporaries. Her sources are snapshots, in some cases taken by

  • 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