Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Compared by art critics to Lucian Freud, Goya, Manet, and Courbet - to name a few - the New York contemporary painter Jerome Witkin is having his first major exhibition in the Los Angeles area in over five years. This is a large-scale show, with monumental wall works, like "The Butcher’s Helper," measuring some nine by twenty-three feet.
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The last time Witkin had such a show in L.A., his work was called "a break-through in post-Cold-War art" by the L.A. Times. And the critic Kenneth Baker has described Witkin as "...one of the finest realist painters working today. He does more than just illustrate things - he stages pictorial dramas that grapple with contemporary historical crises and moral pressures, while offering a lavish physical display of his medium... Witkin's only peer is Lucien Freud"
Witkin’s work is found in the permanent collection of prominent museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Witkin's show at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is a painterly tour-de-force of over thirty works that probes seminal events of the twentieth century in huge, vivid canvases and smaller psychological portraits charged with drama and emotion. For example, his painting "The German Girl" explores the awful reality of Hitler's Germany in a horrifying cinematic tableau. Similarly, "Jesus ( A Disbeliever’s Vision)," takes the viewer on a religious odyssey from an American street corner to other times, other countries, and another reality. Some of Witkin's images are graphic enough that museum curators have felt compelled to post cautionary language about their content.
More intimate subjects embracing sex, relationships, the meaning of family and the ambiguities of our emotional landscape are also explored. Haunting personal images and references to the artist’s past surface in pictures like "Pensione/Chino," where a furnished studio, the artist’s model and a torn glove evoke distilled memories. Witkin's portraits are equally penetrating, as the psychological nuances of the solitary subject in "Rebecca Stronger" demonstrate.
In addition to opening the exhibition at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts at a preview reception scheduled for Friday, April 7 at 7 PM, the artist will participate in a number of educational events in the Los Angeles area, including a lecture/discussion at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts on Thursday, May 4 at 7 PM.
For more information, please contact Jack Rutberg Fine Arts.