Ronny H. Cohen

  • Richard Thompson

    Richard Thompson is one of the few younger American figurative painters to find his own stylistic way in the precarious terrain between illustration and metaphor. His ability to get down and across ideas in images was strikingly displayed in this group of recent paintings and watercolors from the ambitious series, “The Ancestor’s Dream—A Mythic Journey.”

    This work involves Thompson’s questionings about his Oregon farm roots and his speculations about his pioneer ancestors. What we see is a starkly simplified vision of reality in general and of the Great American Pioneer Story in particular—forest

  • Nancy Arlen

    This exhibition of new work showed Nancy Arlen to be one of the most visionary artists of the ’80s. The pieces are in cast polyester resin and are made according to the pouring process that Arlen has developed over the last few years; she transforms liquid polyester and various coloring materials (resins, glitters, Mylar, pigments) into a new category of dynamic, palpable, thoroughly contemporary art objects.

    Compared to earlier series such as the “Auras” or the “Motifs,” the present group is bigger, bolder, and even more mysterious, though no less graceful or elegant. Three Roses, 1982, for

  • John Willenbecher

    John Willenbecher’s deep concern with archetypal formal and thematic issues results in some of the most exciting iconic art in New York this season. Works shown here from the “Laureate” series of recent mixed-media paintings illustrate his methods and intentions. The artist brings together two of the simple geometric shapes that have long interested him and which appear throughout his work from the 70’s, the arch and the circle. Each painting boasts a painted arch-shaped wooden frame encasing a Masonite support, painted to simulate marble. A circle in the form of a gold-leaf laurel wreath rests,

  • Cynthia Gallagher

    This exhibition of five works from 1981 revealed a concentrated, constructively specific pictorial energy which expresses a thoroughly contemporary personal vision in active dialogue with the important Modernist tradition of “painterly” painting. It was an exhilarating display.

    Greased Hip is typical of the approach and the methods. Like the other works here, it employs the risk-laden additive and subtractive process that Cynthia Gallagher introduced in 1980; she starts with a rectangular sheet of paper which she cuts into and adds to as she paints it. The result is a painting whose basic elements

  • Hanne Tierney

    Marionettes, probably the most tradition-bound of the performance arts, were updated in this engaging display by Hanne Tierney. The gallery space was totally commandeered by the various-shaped puppets, which were supported by a fully visible system of strings and pulleys. These 3-D characters included not only organic, all-of-a-piece clothed figures, but also assemblages of things—a Venetian blind, ties on hangers, a pair of pants. Visitors were invited to interact with them, to make them move; and Tierney put on two performances in which the highly expressionistic marionettes played specific

  • Kathleen Thomas

    In her first one-person show, Kathleen Thomas offers a strikingly original and timely vision of small sculpture in the assemblagist tradition. Each work measures less than 10 inches across, and is put together from various surplus industrial materials ranging from electronic components—mostly from aircraft and radios—to rubber gaskets and even deactivated bullets.

    Poised between sculpture and object, the works manage to be precious without falling into the dangerous category of cute. Among the sculptural qualities asserted are contrasts in texture and color and a hard-edged specificity of form.

  • Thomas Rose

    Thomas Rose reveals himself as a constructor of provocative psychological spaces in this recent group of six pieces. Installed against the wall, each large relief (the smallest measures 72 1/2 by 47 3/4 by 5 inches) mixes references to various real and ideal realms of architecture, with lively results. The piece titled it was compounded by small movements or adjustments, 1980, is telling of the artist’s approach: bringing to mind a stage set, it is rich in dramatic, intensifying relationships, both formal and emotive, among the parts. There are three main structural divisions: two large,

  • Joan Brown

    What happens when east (India) meets west (San Francisco artist Joan Brown)? In the case of the new paintings and constructions inspired by Brown's recent travels to India, some top-notch contemporary American figurative art. The enamel paintings, executed in large scale, are fresh, bold, original treatments of Indian myths, monuments, and rituals. It might enhance our appreciation of the work to know “who’s who” regarding the half-man-half-animal figures that often turn up in the company of a robe-bedecked, blue-eyed, light-complexioned woman (very American-looking—she’s probably a self-portrait

  • “Developments In Recent Sculpture”

    This show looked at the ’70s, the decade of pluralism, with works by Lynda Benglis, Scott Burton, Donna Dennis, John Duff, and Alan Saret. All of the artists belong to the generation that reacted against Minimalism, hitting it where it hurt the most: where Minimalism said that sculpture should be abstract and regular in shape—think of Donald Judd’s boxes or Carl Andre’s squares—Lynda Benglis said that sculpture could be abstract and wildly irregular. Where Minimalism said that it was all right for sculpture to have and to stress the qualities of objects and things, Scott Burton said that sculpture

  • Dike Blair

    Dike Blair’s works from 1980–81 are more strikingly aggressive about painterly and architectural qualities than those that directly preceded them. The six examples here, like the earlier ones, are made of acrylics and enamels poured and sprayed onto different materials—paper, Masonite, and glass are favorites; they are installed, similarly, flush against the wall with Velcro. But the earlier work toned down color, played up the competition among the multiple parts of the compositions, and asked the question, “Is it painting, sculpture, or pictorial construction?” The pieces in the present group

  • Douglas Davis

    Double Entendre is the most recent and the most dramatically ambitious of the highly personal performance pieces that Douglas Davis has been developing since the mid ’70s. Broadcast live from the Whitney in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris on May 16, 1981, it uses elements of theater, television, and video to investigate the nature of love. A contemporary man (played by Davis himself) and a woman (Nadia Taleb) are the main protagonists. They tell their story in a dialogue that unfolds in a sequential but repetitive narrative structure; when Davis, for example, speaks in English and a

  • “California Billboards”

    “California Billboards,” sponsored by the Eyes and Ears Foundation in San Francisco, Fashion Moda, and the Public Art Fund in New York, consisted of seven billboards by artists, put up in different sections of New York with technical assistance from Foster and Kleiser Outdoor Advertising. All of the artists involved in the project are or have been based in California, and the painted canvases mounted on billboards around the city were originally commissioned by the Eyes and Ears Foundation for an outdoor exhibition on the West Coast. The artists were Karen Carson, Sri Chinmoy, Jack Frost, Masashi