Los Angeles

Gabriel Kohn

David Stuart Gallery

In the light of the values introduced into sculpture by the movement that has somewhat carelessly been termed “minimal art,” older, Abstract Expressionist-derived sculpture is seen through reconditioned eyes. A lot of it, especially in northern California, begins to look very decadent, like uncontrolled spatial growths, or tumors. Gabriel Kohn’s wood constructions survive all of this hindsight evaluation. His pieces are well-made, loving in their detail, and hold up on such objective grounds as comparisons and contrasts between straight and curved, interlocking shapes and dubious, but possible, tensions (Kahn’s tensions are not visually convincing). They avoid, totally, the look of random wood assemblage.

While many of the sculptors of the Abstract Expressionist persuasion have shown signs of loss of direction and faltering execution in the face of the propositions of the so-called “reductive” school, no such evidence is presented in Kahn’s recent work; his work is as assured as ever. Unfortunately, Kahn’s sexual, organic drawings, with a hard, text-book life, do not measure up to the firm intelligence of his sculpture.

––Susan Snyder