New York

Elizabeth Dworkin

Victoria Munroe Gallery

Elizabeth Dworkin is a passionate painter, an artist thoroughly in touch with the powers of visual imagination and the special challenges they present. Working in a style that is poised on the edge between abstraction and figuration, she reconstitutes reality in the highest creative terms. M.G.M, 1988, conveys an atmosphere of bright lights, feverish activity, and intense sensual stimulation, offset by a sense of loneliness and exclusion from the ongoing drama. With its dynamic scaf-foldlike composition and synthesis of representational and abstract elements, the painting seems to express the constant upheavals and relentlessly demanding pace of present-day urban existence. Dworkin captures the intensity and excitement of the city through her bold juxtapositions of light and dark. Dramatic shifts in scale further establish the frenetic mood.

In Mountainville, 1988, Dworkin engagingly conveys the experience of a particular place. Here, the space of the painting is made synonymous with a stretch of houses on a ridge in the distant horizon. Stressing vertical shapes, the composition appears to be a crazy-quilt-like arrangement, made up of snatches of both representational and abstract elements. The narrow and sinewy vertical forms that dominate the center and right portions of the composition seem to be tree trunks blocking our view into the looming distance. At the same time, they seem to stand as some sort of symbols indicating the need to feel rooted to the earth, connected to some spot of ground that we call home. In Tempest, 1988, Dworkin employs a diptych structure to heighten this composition’s vivid conveyance of arrested movement. The destructive forces of a storm are suggested by the impression of pushed-down and flattened-out forms. The works’ fragmented planar surface evokes feelings of stopped time—the moments before and after a dramatic upheaval.

Ronny Cohen