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    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Monster in Ruth Kligman: Demons — The Light
       Courtesy of The Zone
    Stacking the surface

    Ruth Kligman's new work evokes opposites and builds emotive layers that record moods.


    Ruth Kligman's art has a quiet power. Her art is not demanding attention, nor is there an attempt to convince a viewer of its worth. Her off-handed approach to art making, allows for an innocent and unpredictable range of expression. A tangled mass of colored pencil lines on onion-skin-paper has a completely unexpected material presence that is defined by the artist's hand. In a careful balance of physical marking and emerging imagery, the presence of a 'demon' as a bundle of co-existing perspectives, defines itself in the viewer's imagination. Images of demons become objects of sheer beauty.

    Exhibition: Demons — The Light.
    Works by: Ruth Kligman.
    January 20 - March 25, 2005

    Gallery: Zone: Chelsea
    601 W.26 St.#302
    New York NY
    Phone: (212) 255-2177

    The 'Demon' drawings define a format for automatic image creation that allows for a freedom of expression essential to the uncensored emotive impact that emerges from each piece. This art lives in the 'zone' where the abstract expressionists left the illustrative shackles of Surrealism and defines the 'surrealist expression' as a state of mind to be experienced directly.

    'The Light' begins with a group of small paintings on paper that Kligman calls the Cosmic Series. In these heavily painted surfaces, brush strokes are played down and give way to a massing of metallic paint that seems to smooth and polish a surface. But what is it? It does not depict anything. It reflects light casually. It seems like an unfamiliar piece of material. It is an object that glows. It holds light, shines; it maintains its strangeness. It refuses to give in to easy definition.

      It is a vision of painting construction that maximizes intuitive freedom within defined boundaries.
    This vision of painting construction maximizes intuitive freedom within defined boundaries. The art making is held in check and freed simultaneously. Kligman can lose herself in the process of creation, thereby freeing her pre-conceived restraints to create a new art from the depths of her subconscious — a true surrealist experience in a completely unpredictable format.

    A group of eight large scale paintings on canvas is influenced by the Cosmic Series. They are six foot square and butted against one another to form architectural installations. The surfaces are built by scumbled, slashed and layered off-whites and subtle metallic paints that change color (like an oil slick) as the viewer walks by them. In the paper pieces, the strokes are barely distinguishable from their job of shining the paper surface. The brushwork on the canvases is purposefully exposed; the marks often creating a landscape effect. At times, the paint is applied furiously; in other places the canvas is stroked gently, building a recording of moods and activity that stacks toward the surface of each panel. The painterly application in this series (Landscapes Of The Sky) is more familiar, making the paper works ever stranger.

    The title of the show 'Demons — The Light,' alludes to a struggle between opposites: good and evil, dark and light, freedom and obsession. The literary content expressed here does not easily fit the definition of either Modern or Post-modern categories. Instead, we are given something else, a new Romanticism.

    MARCH 5, 2005

    Reader comments on Ruth Kligman: Demons — The Light:

  • Ruth Kligman   from philip maltman, Apr 30, 2005

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