Los Angeles

Judy Gerowitz

Rolf Nelson Gallery

Rainbow Picket completes the artist’s first one-man show begun last month and it is a considerable improvement on that initial offering. This relative success is not, however, without qualifications, as Miss Gerowitz has, in the process, changed her sculpture into a big, cheerful kind of painting. Rainbow Picket is a series of six volumnar trapezoids, about one foot cubed and ranging from three to fifteen feet in length, and leaning at 45 degree angles against a wall in (left-to-right) decreasing order of size. The segments, made of wood and laminated with canvas, are painted in solid colors, graduating in a basic spectral order to create the “rainbow.” That the piece is immediately more engaging than Sunset Squares is obvious; what is not so evident is that Rainbow Picket, in its almost total elegance (installation––impeccable; fruity color; modular intervals), loses some of the vulgar power of Squares and fails to be as dramatic as it could have been. If any single reason could be extracted for the piece’s lush way of abdicating sculptural form, it would have to be color; somehow (and that is meant as sincere mystification) the sweet flatness of color has usurped the effectiveness of physical form. (Perhaps real primary and secondary colors instead of mint green, aqua, heliotrope, rose, persimmon and ochre could have jarred the viewer into involvement with sculptural elements.)Rainbow Picket is best seen in a gallery’s isolation: an architectural environment (fixed enhancement of a quasi-functional space) would kill it. The work should also be seen from as many different angles as possible, particularly those views in which the negative space between segments (and thereby, between colors) disappears. Rainbow Picket  is an example of what keeps recurring in the mind’s ear as “new-sculpt,” a combination, possibly of the “newspeak” of Time magazine and the monolithic totalitarianism of Big Brother’s “newthink.” Completing the show is a charming, but overwhelmed three-part work entitled, Lilith.

Peter Plagens