Tom Breidenbach

  • Y. Z. Kami

    Y. Z. Kami’s installation of sixteen portraits occupied the gallery space with a stately presence. Each painting is three to four feet high by two to three feet wide and depicts the head of its subject. The sitters range in age from their late teens to their seventies; about half are women, half men, and all are shown against a light earth-tone background. Although executed on linen, the paintings’ nubbly, claylike texture suggests fresco. Other writers have noted their relation to Alexandrian portraits, but whereas those works usually indicate facial and bodily features with simple, clear

  • Rodrigo Moynihan

    For much of his career, Rodrigo Moynihan was as likely to produce abstract as figurative painting, never feeling completely at home in either mode. During his last twenty years, however, the artist shifted away from abstraction, explaining that it “cut [me] off from . . . that union with something that made painting easier to do.” It seemed to Moynihan that if an object were “looked at in a dispassionate way . . . the results would be almost as unconscious . . . as in abstract painting.” What he found to look at, however, was not so much objects as light. Among the late paintings recently on

  • Helen Marden

    While Helen Marden’s watercolors are primarily abstract, they also contain tantalizing suggestions of the hues and forms of nature. In them we can glimpse a fluid, breathing menagerie of hummingbird, jellyfish, devilfish, butterfly, mantis, orchids, kelp, and reeds. The thirty small works, all 10 3/4 by 7 3/4, inches, are so delicate as to suggest that fidelity to their subjects (imaginative or otherwise) requires vulnerability, that to know something is to be at risk.

    If Marden’s watercolors articulate a sense of life’s fragility, her oil paintings hark to its fractious, dissonant aspects. Still

  • Trevor Winkfield

    Trevor Winkfield studiously depicts the glyphs of a loopy heraldry. His playfulness contrasts with a set of deeper, mythological concerns, such as the Tiresian transformation suggested by With a Thrust of the Pelvis, I Become Woman!, 1996, in which two figures that look like paper marionettes assembled from clippings of illustrated children’s adventure stories seem snared in a duel involving a pair of two-toned chopsticks. The lower character is using his left hand to grapple with a snake. The torso of the top figure is composed of an orange shield bearing a huge green gem, topped by a ruff of

  • Marcus Leatherdale

    In Marcus Leatherdale’s scrupulous Indian portraits, he posed his subjects before a dark, unobtrusive canvas that he sets up at markets or in the courtyard of his house in Varanasi (Benares). In all but three of the twenty-five works on view, he used natural light. This neutral staging of all the portraits allows differences in the religious, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds of his subjects to reveal themselves. A portrait of the dwarf Amrit Lal shows him standing on top of a small wooden table, his arms raised in the air, a key hanging from his neck by a lanyard. According to Leatherdale,

  • Pat Steir

    In Pat Steir’s work of the early ’70s, the conceptual elements commented on the natural ones. When she painted a rose, for example, she would cross it out with a thick “X,” as if to suggest that so timeworn an emblem from nature could no longer satisfy our yearning for expression. The risk for a younger artist exploring the world conceptually is that she may give short shrift to physical or crea—turely existence, and miss the surprise and transcendence that arc possible when our sensations are undifferentiated by the intellect. There are still cerebral aspects to Steir’s work, but the

  • Milton Resnick

    At first glance, the ten paintings in Milton Resnick’s recent exhibition might look dark, clotted, and vague. It was only in moving around and among them that they began to reveal their strenuous, suggestive, and delicate aspects. Each painting is titled Monument, and all but one feature tombstone-shaped objects hovering on the painted surface. (In the exception, a horizontal rectangle floats above a cloudier vertical one, suggesting a clumsy block-letter i.) These upright oblong forms are rounded at the top and are outlined in various ways, by huge globs of black paint or by more colorful

  • Roger Selden

    Roger Selden’s exhibition was organized according to the sizes of the works. A series of nine vibrant smaller pictures (approximately 15 x 19 inches each) lining a wall near the entrance to the gallery introduced, in a lighthearted manner, the visual themes explored more seriously in the larger works. Each depicts an arrangement of variously sized triangles, rhomboids, circles, rectangles, and diamonds. These shapes, in turn, might be marked with others—stripes, dots, or small squares—that elaborate the works’ elementary patterns while evoking familiar objects such as hats, pitchers, and houses.