JULIE SAUL GALLERY and Pavel Zoubok Gallery are pleased to announce The Geometry of Seeing: The Art of Elaine Lustig Cohen, a forty year survey of paintings, drawings, collages and constructions by this art world veteran. Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, November 29th, or during the run of the exhibition, which continues through January 12, 2008.
ELAINE LUSTIG COHEN has worn many hats in the art world - as a pioneering graphic designer and dealer of rare Modernist books and works of art - but she has always been, first and foremost, an artist. The Geometry of Seeing celebrates her singular contribution as an artist whose innovative pictorial strategies have both extended and expanded upon the language of Modernism.
The exhibition, which includes some fifty works, begins with Lustig Cohen's hard edge, non-objective paintings of the mid-1960s which move from brightly colored palettes to larger, more classically composed paintings during the 1970s. A series of torn collages made from Spanish political posters during the late 1970s have a liberating effect on the style and structure of her work. During the early 1980s she moves her geometric thinking to sculptural form. Using the primary colors of her earlier work, she creates a series of boxes - "Mondrian in miniature with an added twist of Rubik's Cube" - the series culminating in a magnificent sewing box based on traditional form. By the 1990s Lustig Cohen is scaling down, making collages that increasingly incorporate photography, both vintage and her own. Fragments from her travels, printmaking, and even books she has owned and dealt in find their way into these dynamic compositions. They are formally and thematically tied to her earlier paintings and graphic work. Most recently, Lustig Cohen has explored digital media, creating innovative "alphabets" and whimsically conceived "chess sets".
Alexandra Anderson-Spivy writes, "Lustig Cohen's creative versatility is that of a consummate professional whose esthetic is grounded in an understanding of what Brancusi called 'truth to materials.' This idea, an anti-illusionistic core principle of both twentieth century advanced art and architecture (as opposed to the postmodern), holds that materials should be used where they are most appropriate and that their nature not be disguised or hidden. Tirelessly inventive, Lustig Cohen continues to reanimate a classic vocabulary of Constructivist, Surrealist and Cubist forms, making highly personal work that embodies the revitalizing power of her lucid, expert imagination."