New York

Robert Ehrlich

Westbroadway Gallery

In his first exhibition Robert Ehrlich presented The Pentagon Series, “conceptual color modular grid paintings, based on the pentagon’s inherent substructure of continuous proportion, asymptotic (approaching but never reaching) to zero and extending to or from infinity.”

The panel arrangements grew from a single panel (The Aether Series) to a 25-panel polyptych (Second Phase Thruster). The paintings’ structures are determined by the outward and inward generation of the pentagon as the module (being the stretcher support as well as the painted and delineated image) and the trapezoid as its subsidiary companion in these extensions. The trapezoids were then designated as vectors whose forces were given mass by the addition of color, and which became the vehicles by which the transit to and from infinity is attempted.

Prima facie, these paintings are coloristically playful, and in their structure allude to industrial tower constructions, an aspect that mutes their eloquence as statements on the concept of infinity.

Working his esthetic system into a geometric, physiomathematical structure, Ehrlich produced a forceful image, though at times it overshadows the concept on which it was based.

To be successful and nondidactic, a finite representation of an infinite process must by definition remain open-ended. It must subtly imply its continuity. These paintings do so, but their inter-weavings within the canvas limits are so complex, meticulous, symmetric, and replicative, that one quickly loses sight of their aim—analogues for a sound system of waves, amplitudes, etc.—which might support their resemblance to radar towers.

José Matos