Los Angeles

Jack Zajac

Felix Landau Gallery

Zajac has abandoned the tortured fig­ures and sacrificial goats that have be­come his hallmark. He has retained only the ram’s skull and broken horn. The animal no longer excites our pity but rather our awe. The bones have grown to the dimensions of dinosaur remains. His work has become monu­mental without being totemic, objec­tive without being impersonal. He has gained in seriousness. Despite the sculptural excellence of earlier work, it often had about it an aura of roman­tic self-indulgence, a tendency to man­nerism, and a reaching after effects that was theatrical.

Now we are faced with calm. It is the substructure of the earlier work stripped of the mask of figuration. They stand as the organic remains of a powerful life overcome by a still more powerful death. They are serious and important in their aspect, they have no need of being symbolic or of coz­ening us along a path of association, rooted, as they are, in nature. They do not even inspire the usual chain of derivation. Only Henry Moore comes to mind and Zajac goes even further than him in suppressing analogy. The work is mature. Even if Zajac returns to the figure he will have profited from this journey.

––William Wilson