January Blues, and Reds, and...

Klein.jpgRichard Klein and Julie Rofman
Caren Golden Fine Art

The ability to move through a style, series, or material in an intriguing way for a substantial period of time is a very important trait for an artist. One artist who does this thoughtfully and intelligently is Richard Klein. His primary material is found glass -- mostly eye glasses -- meticulously welded together to suggest a functional form. What has always delighted me about Klein's work is the way the clustered glass that he employs creates light and shadow, like a comet passing through the black night.

For his current show at Caren Golden Fine Art, Klein adds ashtrays, speakers, even blackout paint to create breaks or focal points within the clusters of eye glass lenses, driving the resulting shapes and forms even further into the subconscious mind of the viewer. By adding these bits of "familiarity," Klein interrupts the meditation ever so slightly, bringing the remembered back in.

Rofman

I also take great pleasure in looking at the way these works are made, and what must be countless hours of planning and welding. All this comes to a wonderful crescendo in the shopping cart piece called "Black Friday" (2009). It looks like the gods went shopping, finally settling for a frozen black moon -- with its weight and gravity consuming its captor's cart. Bravo Richard Klein.

Paired with the sculptures of Richard Klein are the paintings of Julie Rofman. The first few minutes in the gallery were a little confusing for me, since the two artist's works do not immediately complement each other. Where Klein turns the solid into the visceral, Rofman suggests a hyper perspective, pushing a futuristic mindscape with light and line to a more common place.

The one thing that does tie these divergent works together is the quilt-like thinking in the structure of all of the compositions. I do like Rofman's work. She is a very good painter. However, if she were to move further away from looking like a combination of Roberto Matta and Yves Tanguey at Coney Island, and maybe focus a bit more on distilling the information or ideas she is presenting to the viewer by half, for instance, then she may find her own unique center. - D. Dominick Lombardi

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D. Dominick Lombardi is an artist with representation in Kasia Kay Art Projects and in Chicago, Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY, and ADA gallery in Richmond, VA; a writer with Sculpture, Sculpture Review, DART, and NYARTS; and an independent curator.

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