Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Increasingly being compared to the pantheons of art including Lucien Freud, Manet, Ingres, Goya and Courbet - N.Y. contemporary painter, Jerome Witkin, will be featured in a major exhibition entitled "JEROME WITKIN: SITE & INSIGHT" at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles beginning June 4, and extending through August 31, 2004.
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This exhibition of recent and select paintings and drawings offers provocative works that put the viewer into intimate contact with the dense interior landscapes of both people and places. The works range from moody urban landscapes and penetrating portraits to intimate figure studies and vivid, psychologically-charged tableaux, often referencing seminal moments in history.
For example, this exhibition will exhibit for the first time outside a museum the enormous six-panel exploration of Dachau’s 1945 liberation ("Entering Darkness", 2001). This work is the culmination of a 20 year-series Witkin has produced on the Holocaust, regarded by critics as among the most compelling paintings made on the subject. Also on view is Witkin’s 2001 painting entitled "9/11," an expressionist tour de force which conjures the World Trade Center search and rescue site at a distance, where poignant gestures are telegraphed against the tower of rubble and debris under an eerily phosphorescent night sky.
Previous Witkin exhibitions in Los Angeles have drawn critical raves. The Los Angeles Times hailed Witkin’s "indelible, pungent force", and cited his work to be "… a breakthrough in post-Cold-War art." Art in America declared: "Jerome Witkin charges the realism of his paintings with Action-Painting technique, tour-de-force draftsmanship and emotionally loaded narration." Art historian Donald Kuspit, in a his review, called Witkin’s work "dreams in the grand visionary manner of the Old Masters" . . . painted with "the rhapsodic abandon of pure sensation" . . . "unequivocal masterpieces." The Jewish Journal calls Witkin "perhaps the greatest figurative painter alive." Indeed, art critic Kenneth Baker has declared that "Witkin’s only peer is Lucien Freud"...and that Witkin ranks among the most underestimated artists today.
Witkin’s work, not surprisingly, is found in many of the permanent collections of major art museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn, and the Uffizi.
The opening reception for "JEROME WITKIN: SITE & INSIGHT" with the artist in attendance at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts will be held on Friday, June 4, from 7 PM till 9:30. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is located at 357 N. La Brea Ave., and is open Tuesday - Friday 10 - 6 and Saturday 10 - 5. For further information, please phone (323) 938-5222.
A separate special evening event: An Evening with Jerome Witkin - A Discussion with the Artist will take place on August 5.