New York

Ralph Helmick

57 STUX + Haller Gallery

Ralph Helmick initially explored heroic male figures pierced by laserlike striations, and his work was interpreted as classicism set to an MTV beat. But this New York debut, which expanded Helmick’s recent forays into the realm of the ardent female figure, made explicit his dual homage to carnal love and the grand traditions of figurative sculpture.

Several Boston shows, two years’ inclusion in the prestigious Institute of Contemporary Art’s “Boston Now” exhibition, plus the celebrated Arthur Fiedler Memorial (a massive bust of the beloved maestro installed on the Charles River in summer 1984) won recognition for 34-year-old Helmick’s signature style—figures and heads formed from horizontal layers of wood, Masonite, or metal, laminated into vibrating, steplike contours.

This show comprised five variations on a single, nobly posed female torso. Schooled in the heyday of Minimalist shibboleths,

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