New York

Jack Sonenberg

Fischbach Gallery

Jack Sonenberg’s work consists of innumerable canvas-covered elements painted black which lean against each other and the wall. They are often tall L-or H-shaped beams; others have less legible notches, projections, and holes. They are arranged randomly and chaotically and are consequently difficult to distinguish and suggestive of some vague function. That these elements are made of painted canvas is not immediately discernible, but is partially responsible for a peculiar elegance and weightlessness which the work has. The three pieces, each occupying an entire wall of Fischbach’s totally white gallery, take up a lot of space; they seem to be waiting to be put together, like an unassembled Nevelson, with a similar silence and somber presence. The piling suggests Serra and other process-derived arrangements. The work is serious; its size, chaos, and blackness are impressive. But there issomething very decorative about this work; after Nevelson and Serra it seems light and frothy, like Boucher must seem after Rubens, or Olitski after Judd.

Roberta Smith