New York

Marilynn Gelfman-Pereira

O.K. Harris Works Of Art

While Wapner’s sculpture tends toward environment, Marilynn Gelfman-Pereira’s modular wire constructions are definitely object oriented. Remaining firmly within the Constructivist tradition, Gelfman-Pereira builds delicate miniatures through the ordered addition of complex geometric units outlined with sections of lacquered wire. The completed forms intimate crystalline growths or atomic structures. In these pieces there is no domination of mass over void, no differentiation between interior and exterior space. The wire lines merely articulate the configuration in three dimensions; they do not establish solidity. While the opaque colors coating the wire do define the pieces’ physical presence, there is no sense of tangible weight—the works hover rather than rest inside their plexiglass enclosures. That these containers are necessary for protection underscores the pieces’ fragility. They are spatial drawings which can be verified only by looking, never by touching.

A question about Gelfman-Pereira’s choice of materials arises with her more recent structures formed by tying sticks of poplar wood into geometric patterns. With the wire works the means seems intrinsic to the ends. However, in the wood pieces there is a dichotomy between the naturalness of the materials and the artful design of the man-made construction. The twigs are too concrete as wooden branches to become subservient to an idealistic ordering system. The implicit logic of Gelfman-Pereira’s linear imagery would seem to require a less emphatically tangible material to sustain its rationalism.

Susan Heinemann