Columbus Dispatch (OH)
/ KENY GALLERIES
Rich show reunites modernists
Melissa Starker For The Columbus
more than 30 years in business, Keny Galleries has placed numerous works by
masters of modernism in museums and private collections.
the show "Contemporary Cadences: The Modernist Impulse in American
Art," 25 of the pieces have returned to the gallery on loan -- joined by
about 50 others.
they offer an expansive survey of the movement, from pioneers in art
photography to members of the Ashcan School and those who have helped shape
pop art and postmodernism.
latter category, Kara Walker's Restraint adds torturous, shacklelike headgear
with thorns and bells to a black subject rendered in a traditional silhouette
form -- all shape, no expression. Given the placement next to Roy
Lichtenstein's intense, fearful-looking Crying Girl, the subject of one piece
almost seems to represent the pain of both.
other sections of wall space, works by contemporary central Ohio artists are
paired with those by national stars in thoughtful juxtapositions.
one such pairing, Lowell Tolstedt's virtually photo-realistic colored-pencil
explorations of shape and texture in everyday objects generate playful tension
with a self-portrait by Chuck Close in uniformly sized dots. In another, Eric
Barth offers new landscapes that blend easily with Andrew Wyeth's farm
works range from the translucent watercolor hearts of 1970s-era Jim Dine to
ink-and-crayon pieces from 1944 by the highly influential Hans Hofmann and
pastels that Joan Mitchell made shortly before her death in 1992.
further back into the 20th century, Unemployed -- a 1938 tempera painting by
Ben Shahn -- fits well today.
Bellows' Dempsey and Firpo (1931) displays the artist's gift for evoking the
sweaty, no-holds-barred energy of boxing.
together, an untitled 1942 gouache work by Arthur Dove and the 1923 Louis
cityscape New York present a shared sense of motion in vastly different
section of the gallery is dedicated to photography by instantly recognized
the photos are Margaret Bourke-White's immortalization of the blinding sparks
from an early-20th-century-steel foundry in Otis Steel Co. and Paul Strand's
clean study of industrial form, Lathe, from 1923.
Lange captures a woman stranded with her child and tubercular husband in 1935.
A Walker Evans image presents a scene of lighter weight: several gents
gathered outside a bar.
oldest works come from Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage, a groundbreaking 1907
photogravure, documents class differences on the levels of a ship bound for
Germany from America. Shot in 1903, The Flat Iron provides a striking early
look at an iconic New York skyscraper.
"Contemporary Cadences: The Modernist Impulse in American Art"
continues through Nov. 7 at Keny Galleries, 300 E. Beck St. Hours: 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. weekdays. Call 614-464-1228 or visit www.kenygalleries.com.