Los Angeles

“Dimension 4: Hebert Genser, Harry Soviak”

Feigen/Palmer Gallery

Genser’s mechanical constructions pre­sent the rotation of long rectangular planes on an axis, creating a flicker of rapidly alternating warm-cool and light­dark colors and horizontal-vertical pat­terns. As optical sensations they are slightly painful and test the viewer’s endurance. Speed and size seem not well coordinated. The most fascinating, B-4 moves farthest into a concen­trated warping illusion as it maintains a wavering and deceptive balancing act.

Genser’s flapping paddles are ideally suited complements to Soviak’s stately environment of string-wound, color­banded tubes. The group including Black Thirty, Eagles, and the sev­eral versions of Method Two, in domi­nant blue and black, possess funereal associations, for these could be neces­sary accessories for the chic sepulchre. The dense-hued, thickly-framed Un­titled and Portrait suggest the po­tential voltage powers of electric motor ceilings.

The form as sculpture (as well as the technique) is monotonous even if indi­vidually novel, for Soviak is refining an already tailored and rarified minor en­deavor. Considered as columnar paint­ing there is a marked resemblance of the yarns’ matte and sheen textural qualities to the more substantial sur­face skin of brushstrokes. In three sizes, tall (10'), medium (4'), and small, they remain hermetically distant objects of a heavy architectural neutrality since they ignore human scale and discourage contact. Powerful as a forested roomful, they menace merely by sheer numbers and size. Striking a deep hollow tone, one by one, they relate to anonymous, luxurious interior furnishings.

Fidel A. Danieli