Works of painter Stephen Pentak, sculptor Carol Snyder pair naturally
For The Columbus Dispatch - December
Nature at its most somber and serene is showcased in exhibits at Keny
Galleries in German Village.
Oil-on-panel paintings by Stephen Pentak - a former art professor and
associate dean at Ohio State University now living in Stephentown, New York -
depict riverscapes in which the water is undisturbed and the horizon clear.
Porcelain sculptures by Carol Snyder of Columbus offer imaginative
interpretations of tree lines, bales of hay and the toll taken by erosion on
the natural world.
With their shared qualities of calmness and visual clarity, the artists'
creations complement one another so well that they are freely intermingled
throughout the venue.
For example, Pentak's "2016, VIII.I" hangs on a wall above a table displaying
Snyder's "Lake Trees Trio." By sharing the same space, the two works enter
into an artistic dialogue.
Pentak's long rectangular painting shows a river bordered by hilly terrain in
the background and a sparse grouping of needle-thin tree trunks in the
foreground; Snyder's piece features three squatty vessels that, together,
suggest a mass of trees.
Another intriguing pairing offers Pentak's "2016, VI.IV" hanging above a
mantel displaying Snyder's dishlike vessels "Sketched," "Small Linear
Landscape (Shallow)" and "Small Linear Landscape (Deep)." The painting
presents two evenly spaced trees beside a body of water; the simplicity and
symmetry of the picture is reflected in Snyder's neatly arranged, similarly
Each artist's works are impressive individually, too.
Several of Pentak's paintings depict striking double visions of darkness and
In "2016, VII.III," sunlight illuminates one side of a tree-filled hill, but
the other side is masked in shadows. A similar effect is seen in "2016,
VII.IV," with its color scheme split down the middle: The left side is dark
and autumnal; the right, bright and clear.
Also evocative is "2011, III.II," featuring a lone wispy branch - accented
with twigs- and a watery background on which reflections of deep brown and
green foliage are visible.
Due in part to the power of suggestion. Snyder's sculptures often reflect what
is described in their inventive titles. For example, the tall, fat vessel
"Fog" evokes the heaviness of a cloudlike mass.
Snyder's most quietly dazzling sculpture is the 84-inch-long "A Walk in the
Woods With Grandpap." mounted on Plexiglas above a doorway inside the gallery.
Comprised of a series of small overlapping loglike pieces, the work artfully
re-creates a seemingly endless row of trees.
Images: Pentak "2011, III.II," "2016, VIII.IV" and Snyder "Fog."