The New York Society of Women Artists
The Meaning of the Line Exhibition
February 8-28, 2010 @ The Broom Street Gallery

Some Serious Ladies Show Their Works

In a artistic climate in which one walks into “hip” contemporary art galleries often feeling that they have encountered “civilization at the end of its tether,” it is refreshing to find a group show in which the participants are not only able speak to the current times, but also display technical skill. The New York Society of Woman Artists’ The Meaning of the Line which opened February 8th and runs through the 28th at the lovely Broom Street Gallery contains some such wonderfully inspired works. And as a whole this ensemble should be commended for veering away from the sensational, and displaying sometimes humble, sometimes quiet works which hold a great power and resonance.

There are the deceptively simple acrylic paintings of Gloria Schar, whose Cooling and Reds and Purple have a Rothko style, but instead of using the swaths of color as imposing forefronts, she casts the colors as seeming shadows to some home in our memory. And Tina Rohrer’s uncanny Accent Aqua III and Blue/Green Progression are series of green shades checkerboards that elude both to the modern world of computer mapping and code, yet create a mirage of natural landscapes. One might also spend some time contemplating Lea Weinberg’s love-filled bronze’s Whereto and Attachment. The two human sculptures are evocative of geological formations, formed by a miraculous wind or water.

Another very worthy composition is that of Diana Freedman-Shea, whose Dusk: Long Island City Winter uses almost translucent oil paint and sometimes even just-outlined figures to capture the feeling of those shortest of days. Despite her dreamy hues and strokes, the painting carries a deep reality; so that it is almost like an old photograph. Inviting you to walk into it, the painting gives one the gift of solace even in a dreary, winter day.

And one should not leave the show without spending a considerable time contemplating the profound work of Jerilyn Jurinek, whose oil Crossing the Delaware River is a profound multi-dimensional work that first gives almost geometric surface impressions, but upon time becomes deep and expansive human and environmental landscape in the viewer’s gaze. Indeed, once the painting amazingly becomes three dimensional, one is able then to understand that the colorful shapes are indeed figures on a terrifying, yet hopeful journey across a deep cold river. On one side is a silhouetted figure that almost floats over the canvas, and it is balanced on the other side by a seemingly distant moon. The painting is a daring work – a robust hybrid of abstract power and well crafted figures – combined to produce a scene filled with beauty and cathartic pain.

Crossing the Delaware River

Peter Neofotis
New York
February 8, 2010