Critics’ Picks

Dieter Balzer, Skoop, 2007, MDF foil, 37 x 37 x 3.5".

Dieter Balzer, Skoop, 2007, MDF foil, 37 x 37 x 3.5".


Dieter Balzer

Gallery Sonja Roesch
2309 Caroline Street
November 7, 2009–January 2, 2010

Precision in reductive-themed art is not merely essential but also the means and the end of such work. Dieter Balzer’s recent exhibition on view at Gallery Sonja Roesch exemplifies the genre’s correlation between presentation and execution. His elegantly constructed, wall-mounted linear sculptures are a delight. Brightly colored monochromatic bars overlap, intertwine, and obfuscate in prescribed rhythms that uniquely balance each piece. The artist displays an understanding of the logic of randomness, as it were, in that his creations hold steady to a purpose that is self-contained—playfully executing their own systemic patterning with grace and authority. Balzer exemplifies a mature understanding of spatial depth, both illusory and real, that makes the complicated works appear at once effortless and fully realized. References from Sol LeWitt to Jo Baer come to mind but fail to fully capture Balzer’s unique configurations, which have freshness apart from historical precedent. The wise decision to include relatively few forms in the show strengthens the presence of the artworks—each of which displays its own syncopated trajectory.