Ronny H. Cohen

  • Wendy Knox-Leet

    Wendy Knox-Leet is a young Canadian artist who has been living and working in New York for the last year. Her recent sculptures are an engaging expression of the on-the-wall fare currently popular in New York. Additive in structure, the sculptures consist of various layers of wire mesh and other materials—aluminum, coal, acrylic, enamel, gels, aquarium sand and glitter among them. They vary a great deal in size and shape, materials, textures and colors. What the works share, however, is an attitude of “aggressive organicity,” the result of making both formal elements (flat and folded planes,

  • Marian Zazeela

    Marian Zazeela’s The Magenta Lights offers a particularly intriguing point of view, one located in the wondrous realm of spectral energy. She transforms material into pure and intense color sensations, and makes a perceptual encounter a spiritual experience. The Magenta Lights is an environmental piece in every sense of the word.

    The high, wide and handsome space of the former New York Mercantile Exchange Trading Floor, a landmark example of 19th-century American public architecture, with its massive standing columns and a catwalk extending halfway around the room, is totally empty except for a

  • Lynn Hershman

    Lynn Hershman is a California-based artist whose various activities include environmental projects, photography, film, and narrative printed matter. This group of works clearly represents her interests, which center around cultural and sociological issues. Among the examples on view, the ones dealing with fashion and American heroes are the most provocative. In this group, collaged and painted photographs are manipulated to comment critically and in some cases humorously on America’s collective aspirations, as defined by the mass media. One of Hershman’s favorite topics—judging by the fictional

  • Antonio Segui

    Through the years the Argentinian painter Antonio Segui has offered a provocative and personal interpretation of various idioms, ranging from impressionist to so-called magical genres. His recent paintings and pastels belong to the latter category. Silent, without atmosphere, Segui’s urban, jungle and beach scenes are South American/European in style, setting and feeling. Stressing a caricature kind of drawing, simplifying both the facial features and silhouettes of the figures, his work brings to mind images by Henri Rousseau, George Grosz, and Fernand Léger, among others. What’s magical about

  • Jeffrey Lew

    Jeffrey Lew’s outer-directed paintings and prints are among the most intriguing in town this season. His attitude towards relationships among concrete elements—technique/format, materials/surfaces—is exciting because it is active. The images, large schematic representations of books, seem literally to rush at the viewer. Whether the volume is opened to display a rainbow of colored pages or closed to reveal a highly textured back and spine, as in Split Decision, the image is a metaphorical come-on, suggesting the intersection of the worlds of learning and art: This is clearly a literary, pictorial

  • “The Russian Revolution in Art—3”

    The more examples there are of early 20th-century Russian avant-garde art hanging in one place, the better it all looks. This group show of work from 1914 to 1925 includes familiar names from the pioneering generation (Alexandra Exter, Kasimir Malevich, Liubov Popova), a few of their younger colleagues (El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko), and others who have become best known for their relationships with Malevich (Vassily Ermilov and Ivan Kliun, who reflected Malevich’s influence at different stages of their own careers, and a few of his more orthodox Suprematist followers among the Unovis

  • James Biederman

    In his first one-person exhibition since his initial solo outing at Artists Space in 1974, James Biederman shows sculptures and works on paper that recall Russian Constructivist interests in spatial issues.

    The painted, wood sculptures, with their “I am what I am,” bare-it-all structures, stressing parallel and counter-balanced elements, and their object-like good looks, bring to mind the spatial constructions of Alexander Rodchenko and the Obmokhu group. His works on paper, executed in gouache, pastel and charcoal, suggest the line constructions and architectonic drawings by Rodchenko and

  • Jacqueline Monnier

    JACQUELINE MONNIER’s exhibition of kites, sculptural assemblages and mixed media paintings is the first American show for this French-born but New York-raised artist (who now lives once again in France). What is immediately striking about the examples on view—all made between 1968 and 1980—is their beauty and the particular attitude which the pieces in each category take toward their own beauty. As is true of much contemporary art, attitude—here involving beauty—is at issue. In other words, having beauty in 1980 is no longer enough; instead it’s all in how the individual work of art wears it.

  • Lynton Wells

    LYNTON WELLS is probably best known for sophisticated treatments of photographic images on canvas, but at the end of the ’70s he turned his attention to traditions of painting, focusing on landscape. His recent works are humorous versions of the academic mythological landscapes. Untitled, 1980, recalls the Old Masters in several ways; its monumental dimensions, 88 by 107 inches are typical of the so-called academic machine; the ambiguous female nude (is she human or statue?), with her upper torso disappearing into the surrounding lush landscape, brings to mind the theme of metamorphosis; the

  • “The Page as Alternative Space, 1909–1929"

    “The Page as Alternative Space, 1909–1929” organized by Clive Phillpot, is an informative survey of magazines associated with several major 20th-century art movements. The show examines the modernist sensibility from a perspective which too often has been overshadowed by the dominance of painting and sculpture. Among the magazines on view are Italian Futurism’s Lacerba, Swiss/French Dada’s Dada, Hungarian Futurism’s Ma and Russian Constructivism’s Vesch. There are examples of covers and inside pages from 18 different magazines in all. Curiously, Les Soirées de Paris and L’Esprit Nouveau, two

  • Louise Bourgeois

    This show is the first retrospective of paintings and drawings by Louise Bourgeois. Concentrating on her early career, beginning in about 1940, it contains many never-before-seen items from the ’40s and ’50s, and goes through the mid ’70s. The presentation is chronological; the selection, iconographic. The examples on view, according to curator Jerry Gorovoy, have been chosen to illustrate her treatment of “ . . . three recurring visual elements; the tree, the house, and the figure.” Of course, all of these are subjects rich in personal and universal meanings, and used symbolically by the artist

  • Richard Hamilton

    Richard Hamilton’s involvement with Pop art and interiors—the two are inextricably linked in his work—dates back to the ’50s. At that time, he belonged to a small circle of artists and critics exploring the cultural significance of the consumer-conscious society that was emerging with a bang in America and being echoed in England and other Western European countries. Like his colleagues (the painter Peter Blake and the critic Lawrence Alloway, among others), Hamilton responded to the challenge of making popular consumer culture the subject of a new style of modernist art, one which was to find

  • Michael Graves

    If Michael Graves, the architect, ever really got his way, then we’d all better brush up on classical allegories, color symbolism, and architectural history. Since 1967, his buildings have evolved along highly personal lines from the modernist influenced starting point of Le Corbusier to an aggressively post-modernist vision drawn largely from a variety of pre-modernist periods. Several recent projects by Graves, either executed or in progress, are documented in this show. The Portland Public Office Building for Portland, Oregon, 1979–80, is the most ambitious and most revealing.

    What is immediately

  • “Art on the Beach”

    “Art on the Beach” is the second biennial sculpture exhibition held on an otherwise barren landfill, part of the ground broken for a still uncompleted river’s edge renewal project called Battery Park City. The site is one of the most dramatic in Manhattan, having as its backdrop the densely packed architectural panorama of Lower Manhattan, of which the twin towers of the World Trade Center are the most conspicuous symbol. The unique art potential of this site has been developed by Creative Time, a not-for-profit art organization, which, since 1973, has organized exhibitions in unusual locations,

  • “Temporal Structures”

    If “Art on the Beach” is take-off-the-shoes informal, then “Temporal Structures” at Wave Hill is black-tie formal. Again, the site determines not only many of the issues inherent in the art (nine examples in all), but also colors our initial responses to the show. Wave Hill is a landmark estate of 28 acres, secluded in a glorious stretch of lush green hills and forests overlooking the Hudson River. There are no signs here of the 20th-century concrete and asphalt jungle. Instead, this is an extremely rarified environment, imbued with money, power and tradition (Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt,

  • Sculpture Garden

    With the largest number of works and the broadest scope of the three exhibitions, the Sculpture Garden at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on Ward’s Island provides the most physically demanding and adventurous experience. First of all, the site is a small island located in the East River at the juncture of three of New York’s boroughs—Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. Residents of the island include both psychiatric patients, as well as some of the staff and their families. For two years, the island—which is divided into well-tended lawns and woods surrounding main buildings and wild stretches

  • Max Neuhaus and Peter Downsbrough

    The rigors of Ward’s Island prepare us for the ultimate clash of art and life on urban streets which in New York, takes place in Times Square. Possibly the most famous site in the world, Times Square has, since the late ’70s, attracted artists’ imaginations, and continues to do so. Avoiding the hectic hustles and hassles which occur on the street, artists like Max Neuhaus and Peter Downsbrough have concentrated on the environment below and above ground level. Located under a street grating, in a ventilator shaft for the subway, Neuhaus’ soundpiece, Underground Music(s) is an electronic installation,

  • Energism: An Attitude

    HERE WE ARE in 1980. Modernism is still the framework within which (or, if you prefer, out of which) the “progressive” art culture operates. Of course, art and modernism are old friends, art having run the modernist track many times in the last eight decades in a succession of movements or “isms.” And in each movement the lay of the track changes, in some cases veering along the more formal courses towards issues of style and process; and in other cases taking the more literary course, towards issues of content and representation. According to conventional wisdom—in other words, all revisionist

  • Ronald Bladen

    Ronald Bladen’s recent show consisted of a small group of sculptures and working drawings, executed from 1977 to 1980. The sculptures are plywood. painted black, and have flat surfaces, straight edges and razor-sharp corners. Installed in the main gallery they range in size from Light Year (77 by 205 1/2 by 20 inches), a monumental structure of cantilevered diagonals and verticals, boasting a walk-under-me section, constructed especially for this show, to Black Saxon, 1977 (72 by 127 by 12 inches), a design in profile recalling a coiled, mechanistic snake, to Black Lightning, 1979 (20 by 50 by

  • “The Italian Wave”

    “The Italian Wave” is a group show of contemporary Italian art, organized by three Bologna-based art critics/historians—Francesca Alinovi, Renata Barilli, Roberto Daolio—and brought to us by the Holly Solomon Gallery. In spite of the title and sponsor, there are no Italian clones either of American New Wave or Solomon pattern-decorative painters among the eight artists in the show. Instead, the artists on view represent what the show’s organizers, in essays (available in English) in the accompanying small, illustrated catalogue, have called a “wave” of “creative energies,” issuing from the