New York

Louis Finkelstein

Larry Ingber Gallery

I’ve saved Louis Finkelstein’s paintings till last so as not to have to end on a sour note. Finkelstein is another artist who’s been around for a long time, but whose work I don’t know well. In his paintings of France and New York he seems to take a hard-line, late 19th-century position. At the center of the painting there’s a crossing over of two spaces, so that one moves from front to back by reading the object from the bottom left to the top right and from the bottom right to the top left. The landscape is studied for reflected light, the alternation of lights and darks, and the transition from the clarity of the near at hand to the haziness of the background. And no messing about.

Footnote for those interested in the low rumblings of the everyday: two members of the New York City Council, Carol Greitzer and Henry Stern (a Democrat and a Liberal), have proposed an amendment to the New York City Charter which would make the art commission hold public meetings. The art commission is a group of rich people who like art. It spends sums of your money, indirectly, and makes decisions about public art for you. It can only be to the good for the commission to conduct its business out in the open, where people—most especially, of course, the art community, which has a direct interest beyond that of the general public—can protest, propose alternatives, whatever you want to do. So if you think it’s at all important you can phone your councilperson and make sure he or she knows you want them to vote for Int. No. 520, which will probably come up before them in late winter or early spring.

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe