Artist Reviews

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Exploring the Unknown: The Paintings of Zohar Wallach
Searching for harmony in innocuous places, Zohar Wallach allows herself to be guided by patterns that appear beneath the surface of her works. She describes herself as being “fascinated by organic mechanisms and natural elements.” This interest pushes Wallach to look for inspiration in the areas of her paintings that would generally be appreciated only as background or texture, a part of the thing rather than the thing itself.
Mituyasu Yokota: Renovating and Re-Imagining the Beauty of Japanese Culture
To Mituyasu Yokota, the time-honored kimono and obi, the sash worn around the kimono, are integral parts of the beauty and history of Japanese culture. The combination of delicate lines with a subtly varied color palette that is exhibited in those items of traditional clothing results in a unique physical presence, one the artist both honors and expands upon in his pieces.
Paul Calabrese: Drawing New York
Looking back on his childhood, Paul Calabrese says, “Growing up poor in Brooklyn was tough… but as hard as things seemed back then I wouldn’t change it. We played stickball, handball, wrote graffiti, and caused a lot of mischief. The world was ours and we had no rules.” 

Born in Yonkers, New York, Calabrese moved to Brooklyn at age 7 when his parents divorced.
Nico Solis: Building on the Energy of the Streets
Nico Solis is not only accomplished in his extraordinary, energetic paintings, but he is also an accomplished music producer who has worked with such artists as Kanye West and Ciara. In this, he brings a distinctive feeling for rhythm and counterpoint to each image he creates.
Helga Zumstein: The Art of Intimacy
Looking between the bodies and interactions in Helga Zumstein's work, any viewer can rejoice in her coded messages. Her wholly recognizable scenes show with graphic aptitude that art is everywhere, but sometimes it takes an artist to truly capture it.
Uncovering a New Sense of Place: The Landscape Paintings of Krim Benterrak
When confronted with a Krim Benterrak landscape painting, the viewer is immediately struck by the immense sense of space, of unending vistas marked by brilliant saturated colors, smooth bodies of water, and unfettered lines. Each painting is distinguished by a pervading sense of harmony and balance, unencumbered by time or geographical place.
Nicole Tremblay: Elegant Odalisques
Coming to Agora Gallery this summer is the solo exhibition of Canadian artist Nicole Tremblay. In Tremblay’s paintings, her female subjects take on a presence that is larger than life. “I have always been fascinated by the presentation of women,” the artist says, “and the inspiration that they represent in art, as far back as the art of ancient Greece.
Quintessence: The Mysterious Women of Dianne Bernstein
Though the tradition of painting is strong and storied in her family, Dianne Bernstein did not take it up herself until an open-air class in Fiesole exposed her to the medium. It was there, in the Tuscan countryside, that Bernstein’s passion for the arts was stoked and brought to a steady blaze.
Concha Osuna Masters Watercolor in Street Scenes of Light and Spirit
Sometimes the greatest magic can be realized by combining the most elemental ingredients. That's certainly the case with the watercolor paintings of Concha Osuna, a masterful artist with the wondrous ability to breathe light and vitality into street scenes.
Fragments of the Real: The Mixed Media Collages of Stephanie Lawrence
Stephanie Lawrence’s captivating mixed media collages are influenced by graffiti and city walls from around the globe. Lawrence, who travels frequently, is interested in the layering of billboards, fliers, graffiti, and other features of the aging environment.
Ghass Rouzkhosh: Painting Without Borders
“Painting crosses all boundaries,” artist Ghass Rouzkhosh says, and his bold, emotionally gripping works offer proof of that statement. His experiences as both an exile and a soldier in the Iran-Iraq War are the source from which his message emerges, as he brings the force of those events vividly to life in his paintings. “With the life I have lived,” he says, “I have no right to paint in any other way.
Anna Rita Alatan (ARA): The Poetry of Color
At once dynamic and serene, the paintings of Anna Rita Alatan elegantly transform imagined worlds into visual reality. ARA, as Alatan is also known, discovered painting while studying fashion at Accademia di costume e di Moda in Rome. She switched her focus from fashion to painting, encouraged by this new, expressive outlet for her dreamy narratives.
Francine Gravel's Glimpse Into Another World
Francine Gravel's immensely evocative body of work offers a glimpse into another world. Gravel creates paintings with a mixture of ink, acrylic base and oil on linen, with some pieces over six feet in length. Each work is a new scene in the particular world that she has created, where romanticism, symbolism, magical realism and the pastoral ideal all meet.
The Complex and Brilliantly Colored Paintings of George Tsatsos
The complex and brilliantly colored paintings of George Tsatsos are currently being featured for the second time at Agora Gallery from October 10th to October 30th, 2014. A former captain of industry who’s still closely involved in business, Tsatsos started off his artistic career as a collector of contemporary art and painted for personal pleasure.
Gesture is Wedded to Emotion in Pierre Leclerc’s
Two gestural strains have long been present in French modernist art: automatic drawing, often influenced by Asian calligraphy as in the work of André Masson and Henri Michaux, and Tachisme, the European answer to Abstract Expressionists, also known as Art Informal. Both tendencies apparently assert themselves in the paintings of the contemporary artist Pierre Leclerc.
Cathy Garceran: Art in the Face of Adversity
As Chuck Close proved when he accomplished arguably some of the best paintings of his career after suffering a devastating spinal injury that confined him to a wheelchair and made it necessary for his brushes to be strapped to his hands in order for him to work, overcoming adversity sometimes strengthens an artist’s commitment.
Digital Photo Artist Peter Watson Paints with Light
With a little help from the viewers’ imagination, the allusiveness of abstract art can take an aural as well as visual turn. One early example is how the pioneering American modernist Arthur Dove magically combined forms and colors in his painting “Fog Horns” to evoke the mournful moans that haunted him on foggy nights in the yawl in which he lived and painted off the shore of the Long Island Sound.
The Paintings of Max Werner are Filled with Natural Imagery
Realism, Minimalism, and Surrealism may seem miles apart; but Max Werner, a painter and printmaker born in Belgium and currently living in the United States, is an artist who professes an interest in René Magritte, yet paints mostly landscapes.
Photographic Purist Nadine Levin’s Naked Eye
One thinks first of Andrew Wyeth, on seeing Nadine Levin’s Giclee print on canvas “Cottonwood Church.” What grabs you is the deadpan American gothic plainness of this image of a weathered wooden colonial structure, standing along a desolate country road, beside a gnarled tree, its bare black limbs clawing like arthritic fingers at a bare white sky. It is a picture whose beauty lies in its utter starkness.
Rieko Karrer: Zen in the Abstract
Born in 1952, Rieko Karrer grew up in a very traditional Japanese household.  She fondly remembers the fragrance of incense in a Buddhist temple and taking lessons in calligraphy that, although she may not have predicted it at the time, would later prepare her for the fluid brushwork that distinguishes her art.
Charles Conrardy is Adamant About Abstraction
While a conservative artist once dismissed painting abstractly as being “like playing tennis without a net,” Charles Conrardy, a former painter of realistic landscapes, regards nonobjective art as liberating and exhilarating.
Scott Forsyth: Capturing the Land’s Grandeur
As Ansel Adams felt about the American landscape, particularly Yosemite Valley, the Canadian Photographer Scott Forsyth seems to feel about the entire terrain of his own native county.
On Encountering the Mysterious Primal Symbols of Marie Gailland
The work of the French artist Marie Gailland is full of surprises, due to her ability to combine the gestural energy of Neo-Expressionism with subject matter as unexpected as that of  the most imaginative talents among the New Image School painters who emerged in the 1980s.
Wei Xiong’s Agile Aesthetic Spans East and West
The defining aesthetic feature of the work of Chinese painter Wei Xiong, who divides her time between Los Angeles, where she worked for twenty years as a fashion designer before turning to painting full-time, and Chengdu, China, where she was born, is how seamlessly she has merged both her adopted and original cultural identities in her paintings.
Alex Braverman’s Brave New World
The richly layered simultaneity of urban streets is dramatically evoked in photographer Alex Braverman’s series “New York City 2014: Synchronicity.
Ines de Poligny’s Harmonious Blend of Freedom and Precision
An Argentinean artist of mixed French and Russian extraction, Ines de Poligny states her artistic mission as an attempt “to express opposites coexisting,” and “to express nature’s qualities, bringing my own abstract vision to it.
Spanish Artist Sola: Neo-Constructivist 
Experiments in the Climate of Postmodernism
   A professor of sculpture at the Art School in Seville, the Spanish artist Sola incorporates three-dimensional elements in her paintings that lend them a uniquely dynamic effect.
Bill Dixon: Versatility in the Abstract
He’s all over the place,” some might say of Bill Dixon’s art, and not realize that they would be paying this artist, who moves easily between painting by hand in the traditional manner and working on a computer, a compliment. Yes, Dixon is, indeed, all over the place in the best possible way.
Felix Semper’s Dynamic Humanist Vision
Felix Semper, who was born in Havana Cuba, has lived in both Spain and the United States, and now resides in north Carolina, is an artist with remarkably fluid draftsmanlike abilities, which shine through his paintings as well as his drawings. Line is his natural instrument, regardless of what medium he may be employing in any given work.
Fame is the New Immortality: Lady Gioconda’s Star-Studded Contemporary Icons
Contemporary celebrity portraiture takes many forms, usually photographic, ranging from the hit-and-run methods of paparazzi like Ron Galella to the elaborate and painstaking setup preparations of  Annie Leibovitz, the diva of the genre, who lights and poses her subjects as though filming scenes in a feature-length film.
Henri Guéguen: Pop with a Noble Purpose
While Don Flavin, Forrest Myers and other artists have employed neon tubes to create light sculptures, the French painter  Henri Gu�guen may be the first to use their unlikely surface as one would a canvas.
   Gu�guen’s enamel portrait tribute to the late Lady Diana on a row of nineteen such tubes mounted close together is not only a technical triumph but a conceptual tour de force.
Color and Emotion in the Visual Music of Francesco Ruspoli
ome of our most memorable and enduring artists are those who evolve succinct symbols for our common humanity: Jean Dubuffet’s Everymen; Willem de Kooning’s monstrous Amazons; Leger’s robotic steel workers; Francis Bacon’s cold meat couplers merging in protoplasmic blobs on beds as desolate of love as morgue slabs...
Discovering the Painterly Versatility of Allan Raider
Few artists have a style that adopts itself equally well to figurative and abstract compositions as that of Allan Raider, whose creative talent was recognized early, when he was presented with the St. Gaudens art medal by President Lyndon Johnson while he was still in high school.
Geometry Becomes a Universal Language in the Paintings of Russian Artist Elena Kozhevnikova
In her new paintings, Elena Kozhevnikova transforms the wide open spaces of the Russian landscape in which she grew up into tightly organized compositions, suggesting a more fluidly allusive contemporary update of Constructivism.
Mairi Budreau Turns the Female Gaze on the Nude Male Body
The Male Gaze was the term that art historians came up with to characterize the way male artists objectified female models down through the centuries. It was a provocative act of turnabout when Sylvia Sleigh started painting male nudes at the height of the feminist movement in the 1970s.
Vanida Amiot’s Style Synthesizes Dual Cultures
Born in India, but adopted at the age of three by a French family, Vanida Amiot is very definitely a product of two distinctly different cultures, each of which has left its mark on her paintings. Claiming the formative influences of Realism, Surrealism, Fauvism, Cubism and Pop art, she now works in a style, incorporating elements of both Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting, best described as Lyrical Abstraction.
Muscovite Painter Elena Shorokhova-Gayun Honors a Tradition Spanning Many Centuries
To paraphrase W. Bruce Lincoln, author of “The Romanovs,” Russia is a land uniquely suspended between East and West, past and future. So many of us who grew up in the States during the Cold War period were so preoccupied by the political implications of this rival Superpower as to be woefully unaware of its vast cultural riches.
Sirenes: A Sublime Colorist Enamored of Light
As a little girl in kindergarten in Norway the artist known as Sirenes was fascinated with color. She loved the tactile sensation of putting her fingers in paint and applying it directly to the paper. And to this very day many of her large canvases are created entirely by finger-painting.
The Sensate Surface as Visceral Topology in the Paintings of Biddy Hodgkinson
The British painter Biddy Hodgkinson takes her inspiration from a close observation of life cycles, with particular focus on plants and molds.
Grace, Simplicity, and Humor: The Art of Kaneko Johkoh
My concept is ‘Simple and Natural,’” says Kanekoh Johkoh, a Japanese citizen now living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. “My aim is to express things as they are.”
    Employing the traditional materials of Sumi ink and a kind of Japanese rice paper called Washi, Johkoh has evolved a refreshingly contemporary style.
Discovering the Abstract Naturalism of Donna Shaffer
Donna Shaffer paints compositions inspired by nature in colored inks on paper and board as though with a brush dipped in liquid light. At the same time, she admits, “I have never felt that an artist can improve on nature, but I have always tried to interpret, through my work, how nature presents itself to me. I consider myself an abstract naturalist artist.
Gerd Rautert: A German Expressionist’s Art of Indelible Archetypes
A monumental sense of modern dislocation in a world that has grown fragmented is what comes across most strongly in the large Expressionist works in acrylic and ink on canvas of Gerd Rautert, a German artist who states “I feel closer to myself and to God when I paint.”
    Rautert is a master markmaker, an artist who appears to navigate his compositions mainly by intuition.
Stephen Tobin’s Whitmanesque Eye
When Newfoundlander Stephen Tobin, widely known as “The Wandering Photographer,” decided to call his solo exhibition “The Natural Instincts of Nature,” it is clear that he meant human nature, as well as the less animate elements of landscape.
Dick Perez is a Major League Baseball Painter
As Dick Perez points out in an artist’s statement issued for his solo exhibition at Agora Gallery, art inspired by baseball has a long and honorable history.
Jenyshin’s Paintings Run the Gamut of Emotions
I love to express my feelings through color,” says the young Korean-born artist Jenny Shin, who paints under the sobriquet of Jenyshin. And indeed her palette is a chromatic keyboard of subtle hues, making every picture a veritable piano solo of her varied moods, ranging from the hopeful sweetness of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to the majestic melancholy of  “Rhapsody in Blue.
Josyane Martinez Practices Her Own Form of Imaginative Aesthetic Alchemy
The centerpiece of the French painter Josyane Martinez’s remarkable oil on canvas, “Hommage � Dali,” is the Surrealist master’s wife and favorite model Gala. Dali both idolized Gala and idealized her. Here, while her face is mature, her compact, unblemished nude body is that of an adolescent Venus.
Discovering the African Portraits of Gaby Hahn
Gaby Hahn, an artist originally from Germany, spends part of each year in Africa, painting the people of Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Coming to painting late in life, she paints in a studio that sometimes serves as a school for African children that she established as part of her life mission.
The Happy Marriage of Freedom and Formal Strength in the Paintings of Jennifer Morrison
Although she has lived and worked in London for the past two decades, Jennifer Morrison was born in Durban, South Africa, which still informs her paintings.
    “Durban has a sub-tropical climate with lush foliage which is still a source of inspiration,” she said in a recent artist’s statement. “ I visit about four times a year.
Krzis-Lorent FrédériqueK and the Lives of Women
If unabashed beauty is the last taboo in fine art, fortunately the French painter Krzis-Lorent FrédériqueK chooses to ignore it. For FrédériqueK’s oils on canvas celebrate the female form, as well as the occasional landscape subject, in a manner that, while thoroughly contemporary, harks back to periods before the cult of ugliness came to rule certain precincts of the art world.
Christine Sellman and the Character of an Authentic Gesture
Once our stereotype of Australian painting was the rough and ready yet slyly sophisticated folkloric faux-primitivism of Sidney Nolan, one of the country’s most famous artists.
The Sun-Drenched Passion of Sherry Sweet Tewell
Sherry Sweet Tewell is a mixed media artist who employs abstraction in a particularly allusive postmodern manner to create works that are brilliantly colorful and accessible, despite their often nonobjective compositions.     
A native of Kentucky, Tewell bravely migrated to Key West, Florida, several years ago.
Robert Oelman and the Art of Seeing
With the progress of digital technology many photographers have become preoccupied with aping aspects of painting. No doubt, digital imaging has provided us with exciting innovations and new directions in so-called “painterly photography.” At the same time, however, we have also seen a disheartening decrease in artful documentary photography.
George Oommen’s Homeward Journey to the Center of Self
It was once verboten for abstract painters to admit that their work was “about” anything in particular. However, the permissiveness of the postmodern era has done away with the sterile notion that nonobjective painting must be discrete unto itself; about nothing but form and color.
The Concrete Epiphanies of Kozo Takano
As the delightfully ironic poems of Billy Collins make clear, verse that makes us smile is not always “light.” This point is also well demonstrated in visual terms in the paintings of Kozo Takano, an artist who currently lives and works in Yokohama, Japan, and states, “I am particularly influenced by the works of Picasso and Klee, and also by the Japanese painter Morikazu Kumagai.
Inspiration and Process Meld in the Paintings of Roberta Dixon
Roberta Dixon says that she imagined the very first brushstroke of her very first painting for almost thirty-five years before she actually began work on it. With that first stroke, however, it would appear that she opened a floodgate of spontaneous creativity.  As she puts it, “With each painting comes a new beginning, infused with possibility.
Sudnya Shroff and the Silent Language of Pure Feeling
India has recently emerged as a major player on the world`s art map, with modern Indian masters such as F.N. Souza and M.F. Husain commanding prime prices on the international auction circuit. Something of their vivid colors and high spirits can be seen in the paintings of Sudnya Shroff, a recently naturalized (2006) American citizen - born in Pune, India, but now living and working in Los Altos and San Francisco, California.
“Freedom” Personified: The Paintings of Nélida Diaz de D’Amato
In the series of paintings that she titles “The Drama of Being Free,” Latin American artist N?lida Diaz de D’Amato takes inspiration from the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling. But rather than slavishly following Schelling’s themes, she demonstrates the principle of freedom in art by virtue of her creative interpretation.
Gabe Tong’s Paintings Reinvigorate the Formal Vocabulary of Cubism
Since Cubism originally had all to do with exploiting the flatness of objects and forms on the two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, the phrase “3D” cubism could seem a contradiction in terms  –– that is, until one encounters the paintings of an intrepid and innovative Chinese-American artist named Gabe Tong.
MAEV: An Artist’s Reaffirmation of the Visionary Impulse
Rarely are subject and medium so seamlessly merged as in the paintings on copper of the doubly-gifted Quebec-based visual artist and musician MAEV (Maev Marchini) whose compositions are infused with a singularly ethereal sense of light. 
A visionary in the tradition of William Blake, MAEV abandoned oil painting for her unusual medium in the wake of a trying family crisis in the late 1980s.
Yasuyuki Ito: The Miraculous Inner Vision of a Sight-Impaired Painter
In 2003, Japanese artist Yasuyuki Ito experienced what he describes as a “serious deterioration of my eyesight” due to a loss of central vision.
“Since then the process of creation has been more challenging,” he says, “but I continue to depict my interior world and my perception of the outer world, using a variety of creative techniques.
Nada Herman, Scion of an Australian Art Dynasty
The granddaughter of Sali Herman, one of Australia’s most famous painters, Nada Herman grew up in an atmosphere that nurtured art and started painting in oils at age eight, sharing a studio with both her grandfather and her father, “TED,” also an accomplished and admired artist.
Protest Meets Grandeur in the Art of Kiko Sobrino
The Brazilian artist Kiko Sobrino employs a number of techniques –– including acrylics, ink, serigraphy, and even computer graphics on canvas and wood ––  to creates works that move fluently between the figurative and the abstract. Yet he is adamant in his insistence that “my formation is from the classical school of arts.
Carlo Proietto: Conundrums Cloaked in a Pristine Aesthetic
Carlo Proietto has written two exhaustively researched books on pyrography, rescuing the technique of burning images into wood or fabric with a heated instrument from the misperception of being “a relatively minor art form,” establishing once and for all that it is, as he puts, “comparable to any art form.”  It is in his own fine art works, however, that he drives this point home most convincingly and dynamically.
Eduard Anikonov and the Souls of Machines
Like the American artist Walter Murch, active in the 1950s and 60s, Eduard Anikonov is a “painter’s painter,” in that his work has as much to do with light and shadow, color and texture, and the tactile qualities of oil paint applied to canvas as with the subjects that he depicts.
Z. Todorova’s Language of Universal Symbols
It is no trick to make a simple thing complex,” the great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus once stated. “The real accomplishment is making something complex simple.”
    He could have been talking about the mixed media works of the artist known as   Z.
The Equine Photography of Carol J. Walker
From artists of the French Romantic period like Gericault and Delacroix to the famous 18th century British painter of horses George Stubbs, the idealized equine figure has been such a ubiquitous part of  art history that one might easily mistake the images of the Colorado-based photographer Carol J. Walker for paintings –– especially since they are presented as Giclee prints on canvas.
Nature is Transformed in the Paintings of L. Byrne
Contrary to the belief of strict formalists who would prefer to see it as a function of dispassionate aesthetic gamesmanship, abstract painting had its origins in mystery.
Felicities of Form and Touch in the Paintings of Cecilia Fernandez Q
Because she began as a sculptor, the Chilean painter Cecilia Fernandez Q came first to form. Color followed in due time:  subtle and refined combinations of complementary secondary and earthy hues that define, without being subordinated to exquisitely drawn human and animal figures informed by an underlying sense of abstraction.
Nicole Alger: A Painter for the True New Age
New Age” is a term with a broad application, often encompassing a variety of multicultural disciplines that offer alternatives to the spiritual barrenness of modern life. Normally, when the term is applied to art, however, we picture images of unicorns, wizards, earth goddesses, fantastic landscapes in imaginary fairy tale realms, and other lighthearted, often banal subjects related to popular notions of a generalized gift shop “spirituality.
Pat Fairhead: A Painter Who Goes with the Flow
Despite the accomplishments of its great modern exponents such as John Marin and Charles Burchfield, watercolor has yet to be acknowledged as the major medium that it can be when employed for finished works on a grand scale, rather than merely for sketches and studies.
Mihai Bara’s Winning Confluence of Formal Thrust and Buoyant Vision
Painting is like second nature to me,” says the Romanian-born artist Mihai Bara, who has lived and worked in the small picturesque European principality of Andorra since 1992. “It is natural to think, breathe and to absorb vibrations and use them to recreate a different world while I paint, according to my point of view, my sensibility, my desires, my doubts...
Aelita Andre: A Young Artist Begins
There are situations which not only can but should give any self-respecting critic pause. One of them is a phenomenon such as Aelita Andre, a four-year-old girl of Russian heritage who lives with her parents in Melbourne, Australia, and is presently being celebrated in major media –– including by Germaine Greer in The Guardian and on 60 Minutes –– as “the youngest professional painter in the world.
Social Commentary Meets Beauty in the Art of Anti Liu
Perhaps the best introduction to the art of Anti Liu, a Taiwanese sculptor now living in Long Island, is his terracotta figure “ Terracotta Marilyn Monroe.” We all know the pose: It’s based on that iconic picture of the blond screen goddess standing on a subway grate with her skirt billowing up around her thighs.
Charting Painter Paul M. Cote’s Lightning Ascent
Although he has only been painting for a relatively short period of time, Paul M. Cote, who signs his work “Cody,” has quickly established himself as something of an up-and-coming artistic enfant terrible, given his untrammeled ambition and the large scale and rugged aggressiveness of his Neo-Abstract Expressionist canvases.
Out of Shadow: The Dramatic Digital Photography of Denis Palbiani
The use of chiaroscuro, starkly contrasting light and shadow in painting, was perfected by  Caravaggio, the most powerful and original Italian artist of the 17th century. He had an enormous influence on other painters who came to be called “Caravaggesque,” including the French artist Georges de La Tour, known for his nocturnal scenes with candles used as the source of light.
Lydia van den Berg’s Paintings Filter Innocent Wonder Through Sophisticated Vision
Although the Bulgarian-born artist Lydia van den Berg, who now lives and works somewhere in the vicinity of Zurich, Switzerland, classifies her painting style as “Magical Poetic Realism,” it would not be inaccurate to add yet another descriptive word to that designation: “Visionary.
Kelly Hunt Probes the Secret Life of the Flower
A rose is a rose is a rose,” wrote Gertrude Stein, but one feels almost certain that  Kelly Hunt would disagree. For in her large digital photographs of floral forms on canvas, Hunt makes clear that a rose –– and indeed any other species of flower –– can be ever so much more.
A Powerful Female Spirit Haunts the Art of Susannah Virginia Griffin
One of the Texas artist Susannah Virginia Griffin’s most affecting paintings is the acrylic on canvas entitled “All that Glitters.” In a vigorous flurry of gestural strokes, it depicts a faceless doll with long yellow hair, its bent, bow legs hardly suggesting those of a ballerina, even as they issue from a tattered cerulean blue tutu ruffled like the feathers of a dying swan.
Did Dontzoff Paints the Human Image in the Raw
Born in Paris of Russian, Jewish, and Gypsy origins, Did Dontzoff is a painter with his own unique vernacular, which can only be described as a sophisticated variant on Dubuffet’s “art brut,” seasoned by the streets in much the same manner as the poetry of Jacques Prévert and the songs of Charles Azvenour.
Clive Rowe: Possible Prophet of a “Terrible Beauty”
Even an artist engaged with state-of-the-art new media must be beholden to a tradition, in order to sustain a sophisticated and consciously avant garde aesthetic practice. Or so Clive Rowe, a lifelong photographer presently experimenting with manipulating his own images by means of computer technology, seems to imply, in a lengthy artist statement that sheds light on his recent work.
Maria José Royuela: The Art of Reflection
”Patience” is a word one rarely hears in the hectic, ambitious art world of today, where everyone appears to be in a hurry to succeed, and where the work is often hurried in execution, serving as a mere accessory to that quest for success. For this reason it is refreshing to hear the Spanish painter Maria José Royuela say, “My work is the fruit of patience.
Clara Gràcia: The Emotive Power of Nature
It has been noted elsewhere that while the Catalan artist Clara Gràcia often works on large canvases, her style is more lyrical than aggressive and does not tend to intimidate the viewer, as big paintings sometimes can. Indeed, standing before one of her paintings, the viewer is enveloped in effusions of color and light that have the warming effect of Mediterranean sunlight.
Chantal Westby’s Paintings Project an Epic Grandeur
The Italian phrase 'di sotto in su', which means “looking up from below,” is a device for creating spatial allusions via severe foreshortening, and is often seen in the ceiling frescos of Andrea Mantegna and other Renaissance masters but is rarely encountered in the work of contemporary artists. Chantal Westby, a French painter who moved to the United States in the 1980s, is one of the rare exceptions.
Lyricism and Freedom in the Art of Dominique Boutaud
Although Dominique Boutaud, who was born in  Nice, France, became an American citizen in 2008, she remains a French painter in the very best sense of the term. Which is to say: her work has a sense of finesse and a love of beauty that harks back to the glory days of the School of Paris. And while she is primarily an abstract painter who says “The U.S.
The Neo-Pointillism of Santina “Semadar” Panetta
At a heretofore little explored juncture where pointillism meets optical art and color field painting are the oils of Santina “Semadar” Panetta, an artist who was exposed to the classical arts in both her native Italy and Greece before migrating to Montreal, and who has staked out her own unique territory.
Ostensibly, Panetta’s paintings are landscapes.
Wayne Wilmoth: Space Creates the Place
Photography has turned the corner in recent decades, taking its rightful place beside painting as a major art form and fetching big prices in galleries and auction houses. Wayne Wilmoth, a Texan presently living and working in Naples, Florida, and a professional  photographer for two decades, is in the innovative vanguard of the art for his “3-D landscapes.
Chinese Beauty Inspires Artist Zhang Xiuzhu
The renowned Chinese painter Zhang Xiuzhu is an artist totally enamored of the Asian feminine mystique in the series that he calls “As Time Goes By –– Theatrical Life.” In the West, the phrase “As Time Goes By”  immediately evokes the haunting lyrics and melody that accompanied the doomed romance of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergmann in the classic film “Casablanca.
Discovering the Gritty Newcomer Michelle Louise
The story of the painter Michelle Louise is one of triumph over adversity. Three years ago, after leaving an abusive marriage, Louise found herself a single mother raising three children with no job, no bank account, and no car –– almost a necessity in a town like Sanford, Maine, where her family has lived for three generations.
The Lyrical Linear Universe of Fred Mou
Line is the essence of form and a delineator of character, according to artists in Asian countries where calligraphy is regarded as an art form on a par with painting, and where its greatest exponents generally surpass the linear mastery of our best Western artists.
Tamar Rosen: Heir to a Noble Painterly Tradition
There are certain painters whose work appears to be as much about honoring the tradition of painting itself as about the subjects that their paintings depict. Upon such artist we sometimes bestow the honorific of “painter’s painter,” and that designation seems entirely appropriate for Tamar Rosen, an artist from Tel Aviv, widely exhibited in both Israel and the U.S., whose solo show will be featured at Agora Gallery in Chelsea this October.
The Tactile/Coloristic Symphonics of Yuta Strega
Although she received her early art education at the College of Fine arts in Frankfurt, Germany, Yuta Strega lives in France and works in a studio that, in the poetic description of one writer “opens onto a long downward sloping garden where vegetal shapes and colors mingle, then stretches into an infinite rolling landscape.
Mexican Painter Marcela Cadena’s Vibrant Vision
From the evidence of the work to be seen in her upcoming exhibition at Agora Gallery in Chelsea, Marcela Cadena, who has already exhibited extensively and who was also featured at Art Shanghai in China earlier this year, is among the best and brightest of the present generation of young Mexican artists.
Ivanrod: Beyond Minimalism
Born in Bogota, Columbia, Ivan Rodriguez Saboya, who is known as a  painter by the mononym of Ivanrod, demonstrates auspiciously John Powson’s excellent definition of minimalism: “the perfection that an artifact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction.
The Hybrid Visions of Surrealist Anis Dargaa
Like his fellow countryman René Magritte, the doubly gifted painter and sculptor Anis Dargaa, born in Liège, Belgium, in 1972, is a Surrealist fascinated with intriguing incongruities.
Gustavo Rasso’s Painterly Approach to the Digital Print
The more one sees of digital art the clearer it becomes that some of its most impressive practitioners are those who were trained in drawing and painting before they took up the new medium.

Steven Mark Glatt and the Majesty of Melancholy
My work comes from a place that few people get to visit,” says Steven Mark Glatt, whose paintings will be on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from January 8 through 29, 2010, with a reception on Thursday, January 14, from 6 to 8 PM.

Lyrical Vivacity in the Paintings of Alyssa Traub
The confluence of personal vision and state of the art technology amounts to a powerful creative synthesis in “Altered States of Reality: an Exhibition of Analog and Digital Fine Art Photography,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from October 27 through November 17. (Reception: Thursday October 29, 6 to 8 PM.)

Photography: Angles of Vision, Versions of Reality
The confluence of personal vision and state of the art technology amounts to a powerful creative synthesis in “Altered States of Reality: an Exhibition of Analog and Digital Fine Art Photography,” at Agora Gallery, from October 27 through November 17 .

Contemporary Directions in Latin American Art
If the art of Latin America has one overriding characteristic it is an imaginative scope that comes across in the aptly named group show “Masters of the Imagination: The Latin American Fine Art Exhibition,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from September 8 through 29. (Reception: Thursday, September 10, from 6 to 8 PM.)

Daniel Sewell at Agora: Reconfiguring Cubism
Figurative, cubist, improvised, process-oriented” is how Daniel Sewell, an American artist presently living in Shanghai, China, sums up his compositions in spray paint. However, an underlying conceptual complexity and allusive resonance that defies such succinct description comes across in the works by Sewell on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from September 8 through 29. (Reception: Thursday, September 10, from 6 to 8 PM.)

Cary Gang’s Sumptuous Synthesis of Color and Gesture
Indeed, there is no discernible hierarchy to the sources of her chromatic enthrallment in the paintings by Cary Gang on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from September 8 through 29. (Reception Thursday, September 10, from 6 to 8 PM.)

Gerard Stricher’s Striking Abstract Synthesis
Gerard Stricher’s chromatic luminosity, combined with a sense of spontaneity that results in an exhilarating gestural vivacity, imparts to his paintings a singular aesthetic resonance, uniting in a striking synthesis aspects of abstract painting that were once thought to be irreconcilable. His paintings are on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from from June 27 through July 17. (Reception: Thursday, July 2, from 6 to 8 PM.)

“Altered States” of Contemporary Photography in Chelsea
From the puritanical stance of those photographic pioneers, we have evolved to the more enlightened belief that art should reflect its times, both in its refusal to adhere to outdated aesthetic formulae and its embrace of whatever state of the art wizardry suits its purposes. Thus the marriage of subjective vision and technology is the promising premise of the multifaceted exhibition “Altered States of Reality,” to be seen at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from April 14 through May 5. (Reception: Thursday, April 16, from 6 to 8 pm.)

Pat Kagan: A Power that Defies Stereotypes
Those colors inform Kagan’s lyrical semiabstract landscapes in watercolor, with their ethereal, almost achingly nostalgic sense of transcendence. But Kagan asserts that her real breakthrough occurred in the bold gestural abstractions in her show, “Quintessential Color” on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from March 21 through April 10 (reception Thursday, March 26, from 6 to 8pm).

A Diverse Survey of New Japanese Painting
We’ve been yearning for an exhibition of contemporary Japanese art that is not exclusively limited to Hello Kitty clones, and here it is: “Matrix of the Mind,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street from February 24 through March 17 (with a reception on Thursday, March 5, from 6 to 8pm), proves that some artists from the Land of the Rising Sun are thinking about a lot more than cute cartoon characters.

Anna Ravliuc Lends Redeeming Beauty to Harsh Truths
Inspired by pagan traditions and prehistoric legends, Anna Ravliuc, an artist born in the Ukraine, now living in Romania, emerges as a contemporary heir to Gustave Moreau in the paintings viewed at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from February 24 through March 17. (Reception: Thursday, March 5, 6 to 8pm.)

Eric Robin: Conjuring the Face of Suffering and Compassion
As a police officer for the city of Brussels, the Belgian painter Eric Robin came to see himself as a “witness of humanity,” and that, he says, has been one of his abiding inspirations. Certainlya sense of humanity in the raw is everywhere evident in the paintings Robin will be exhibiting at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from January 6 through 27, 2009. (Reception January 8, from 6 to 8pm.)

Danish Painter Per Hillo Delineates Our Interconnectedness
Few contemporary paintings evoke the underlying energies of all things as dynamically as those of Per Hillo, an artist from Denmark, on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street,from January 6 to 27, 2009. (Reception Thursday, January 8, 6 to 8 pm.)

Transcending Boundaries is Second Nature for the Painter NAT
In NAT’s exhibition at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from January 6 through 27, with a reception on January 8, from 6 to 8pm, the two supposedly opposing poles of expression are skillfully united in works such as “Olympe.”

Maria Pia Taverna’s Evocative Realm of Shadows
While many take sides today regarding traditional versus newer media, vehemently espousing the superior aesthetic merits or contemporary relevance of one or the other, some of the most interesting artists are those who evolve a personal synthesis of both. One of the most intriguing discoveries in this regard is Maria Pia Taverna, a native of Italy, currently living and working in Turin, whose work will be on view in the exhibition “The Odyssey Within,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from December 12 through January 2, 2009. (Reception: Thursday December 18, 2008, 6 to 8pm.)

Science and Art Intermarry in the Paintings of Marika Berlind
Although those of limited vision may think of science as a cut and dry subject, every true scientist is involved in a search for the unknown. Thus the Greek-born San Francisco-based painter Marika Berlind, who combines her dual loves Astronomy / Mathematics and Art in her work, can confidently state, “I do not aspire for my art to be a didactic tool to explain science. Rather, I wish to provide an alternative means by which to explore science. The results of Berlind’s “research” can be seen at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from December 12 through January 2, 2009. (Reception: Thursday, December 18, 6 to 8pm.)

Luigi Galligani : Humanizing Myths, Restoring Our Sense of Wonder
Working primarily in bronze and terra cotta, the Italian sculptor Luigi Galligani reinterprets ancient Mediterranean myths in striking contemporary terms, at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from December 12 through January 2, 2009. (Reception: Thursday, December 18, from 6 - 8pm.)

Lee Porter: Australia's Female Answer to "The Male Gaze"
the acrylic paintings that Porter is exhibiting at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street October 24 through November 13 (reception Thursday, November 6, 6 to 8pm) are expeditions into a territory as relatively unexplored (at least by female artists) as the Outback itself, and for that reason alone may possess historical importance. For certain, they possess wit and are skillfully rendered.

Charting the Impossible: The Intrepid Mission of Slobodan Miljevic
Slobodan Miljevic is a consummately sophisticated painter, conversant with a broad range of techniques, which he combines in a manner that gives his compositions a multidimensional quality. Mediums are mixed liberally in order to lend his paintings a plethora of textural and coloristic contrasts. Often, he combines oils, acrylics, sand, and even digital prints to striking effect.

An Informative Survey of New Canadian Painting Comes to Chelsea
We live in such relatively close proximity to our "neighbor to the north," as it is often called; yet far too many of us remain unaware of the vital contemporary art scene that it harbors. For this reason, and simply for the overall excellence of the work on view, "Beyond Borders: an Exhibition of Fine Art from Canada" is well worth a visit to Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, where it will be on view from October 1 through 21 (Reception: October 2, 6 to 8pm).

Egalitarian Gallantry Ennobles the Art of Ricardo Lowenberg
Women are objectified, and even demeaned, by male artists in so many ways in so much contemporary art that one is hardly prepared for the mellow romanticism and aesthetic gallantry that distinguishes the paintings of the Mexican artist Ricardo Lowenberg, on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, in Chelsea, from September 9 through 30 (Reception September 11, 6 to 8 pm).

Aranka Israni's Ever-Evolving Quest for Homeostasis
An Indian raised as a Muslim in Dubai, Aranka Israni brings a strong sense of her cultural heritage to bear in her paintings on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from September 9 through 30 (Reception: Thursday, September 11, 6 to 8pm). The absolute clarity and grace of these compositions reveals a maturity of vision that belies the artist's relative youth.

Fumio Noma: Listening to the Whisperings of Nature
Looking at the work of Fumio Noma, on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from September 9 through 30 (reception September 11, 6 to 8 pm), one is reminded of the great Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki, who fell under the influence of Western writers such as Baudelaire, Poe, and Wilde, yet remained faithful to his national heritage and wrote the ultimate essay on the Japanese sense of beauty, "In Praise of Shadows."

Neil Masterman: A Maestro of Many Styles from the UK
Two of Masterman's favorite quotes about painting, included in an address book of his paintings that is a popular seller in England, are "Painting is a journey into the unknown" and "Painting is how you feel at the time." Both seem to apply to his own work, which is bright and upbeat in a manner akin to Hockney and Peter Blake, but also shares a sense of playfulness with that other British free spirit Colin Self.

Michael Gemmell: A Painter of the Bogs and the Irish Earth
Encountering the work of the Irish artist Michael Gemmell, one is reminded of a poem by his famous fellow countryman Seamus Heaney called "Exposure" that begins, "It is December in Wicklow: / Alders dripping, birches / Inheriting the last light, / the ash tree cold to look at." For Gemmell lives and works in Wicklow and his paintings look at the land with a similarly bleak and unforgiving beauty, judging from the ones on view at Agora Gallery

Martina O'Brien Melds Elements of Landscape and Abstraction
Although she is inspired by the example of Mondrian to regard her compositions as geometric constructs, the painterly process of the Irish artist Martina O'Brien quickly dissolves overt geometry in atmospherics akin to those of Turner and Constable, in her canvases on view at Agora Gallery.

Nina Ozbey: Postmodern Abstraction Informed By a Sense of the Past
The raw, romantic energy inherent in her muscular strokes, suggesting vestiges of nature and human anatomy, hinting at a simultaneously reverent and rambunctious relationship with the great art of the past, makes Nina Ozbey seem a legitimate heir to the revolutionary movement that first put American painting on the map. Ozbey will exhibit at Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street, from July 22 through August 12. (Reception: Thursday, July 24, 6 to 8pm.)

Katrin Alvarez: Confronting and Banishing the Demons Within
Like Marlene Dumas, an older artist with whom she shares certain qualities in common, the German painter Katrin Alvarez depicts aspects of human and societal relationships through figures that often take on a doll-like quality,

Tradition and Originality in the Art of George J.D. Bruce
What makes an artist original, if not striving after new forms of expression? Those who truly know would argue that it is actually the artist's ability to imbue even the most traditional subjects and genres with the stamp of an individual sensibility. The paintings of George J.D. Bruce are a fine case in point.

New Art from Australia and New Zealand in Chelsea
Australian art critic and inveterate curmudgeon Robert Hughes once stated somewhat patronizingly that Australian art and by implication, that of New Zealand as well was “purely a product of isolation.” But that opinion no longer appears to hold true, given the level of high purpose and sophistication on view in “Out From Down Under & Beyond: The Australian & New Zealand Art Exhibition,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from May 10 through 30 (Reception Thursday, May 15, 6 to 8 PM).

Inna Moshkovich: Nature in the Abstract
Just how successful Moshkovich is at translating the particulars of landscape into purely painterly terms can be seen in the exhibition “Out From Down Under & Beyond” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from May 10 to 30 (Reception: May 15 from 6 to 8 PM). In both her acrylic paintings and innovative wool collages, Moshkovich captures a sense of light and movement that brings her compositions alive in a unique manner.

Universal Connections in the Art of Anicée
Although Anicée also asserts that she strives to achieve “universality” in her art, as far as one knows, she has special interest in the art of China and Japan , having more than enough in her own background to inspire her. Yet a kinship with Asian art manifests nonetheless, not only stylistically but in Anicée's approach to nature, judging from the work on view in the exhibition “Abstract Concepts,” on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from May 10 to 30, with a reception on May 15 from 6 to 8 PM.

New Directions in Photography Seen in Chelsea
That no other art form has progressed as rapidly as photography in the past half century should come as no surprise to viewers of “Tripping the Light Fantastic" The Fine Art Photography Exhibition,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from April 18 through May 8. (Reception: Thursday, April 24, 2008, from 6 to 8 PM.)

Exploring the Ongoing Evolution of Digital Art
Practically everyone fools around with computers these days, but only the highly talented sidestep facile special effects to create genuine works of art, such as those featured in “Pixel Perfect: The Digital Fine Art Exhibition,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from April 18 through May 8 (Reception: April 24, from 6 to 8 PM).

The Paintings of Javier Iturbe Unite Two Diverse Traditions
One of the most interesting things about the Spanish artist Javier Iturbe, whose oils on canvas and panel can be seen in “Persistence of Form,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from March 25 through April 15 (Reception March 27, 6 to 8 PM), is the synthesis he has created between Cubism and Surrealism.

Discovering the Emotional Expressionism of Efrain Cruz
Born in Veracruz Mexico , now living and working in Valdosta , Georgia , Efrain Cruz is a “natural,” judging from the work on view in “The Allegory of Form,” at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street from February 5 through 26. (Reception: Thursday, February 7, from 6 to 8PM.)

Life-Affirming Symbolism in the Art of Patrice Goubeau
A fantastic vision is heightened by the liberal use of chiaroscuro to lend atmospheric drama to the acrylic paintings of Patrice Goubeau, a winner of the coveted Grand Prize award from the Salon des Artistes Francais, at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street , from  February 5 through 26. (Reception: Thursday February 7, 6 to 8 PM.)

Contemporary Art Informed by the Legacy of Greece and Italy
It is a daunting task to review an exhibition as sweeping in scope as "The Odyssey Within: An Exhibition of Fine Art From Italy and Greece," So overwhelming is its bounty of stylistic diversity that most one can do is try to provide the reader with an overview of the various tendencies flourishing in those two Mediterranean countries both with richly documented artistic legacies dating from antiquity to the present and recommend that he or she make a point of visiting the gallery.

Markus Maria Saufhaus: A Gentler Approach to Expressionism
If every artist can be said to have had a formative experience which spurred the creative urge, for the German painter Markus Maria Saufhaus, it was seeing a photograph as a child of "The Tower of the Blue Horses," a painting by Franz Marc, a leading member of the Blaue Reiter group

Materiality and Meaning in the Art of Monica Marioni
Born in Italy in 1972, Monica Marioni seems to synthesize some of the most dynamic developments in modern Italian art to forge her own unique postmodern style in an exhibition on view at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from December 14, 2007 to January 3, 2008. (Reception Thursday, December 20, from 6 to 8 PM.)

A Global Photographic Survey Comes to Chelsea
International trends in contemporary art photography are featured in "Tripping the Light Fantastic," at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from November 20 through December 11. (Reception Thursday, November 29, 6 to 8 PM.)

Katrina Read Extends Australia's Legacy of Nature Painting
Katrina Read has stated that she wishes her work to "capture a sense of calm and peace" and to achieve "a form of connectedness through each painting with the viewer," and she succeeds splendidly in this series

Jacqueline Rosenberg's Aesthetic Mutations of Beauty and Power
Rosenberg is well aware of being at odds with traditional sexual politics when she asserts that the women in her pictures are "strong, emancipated and sexy," adding that showing sensuality "is a powerful means to express emancipation, as opposed to the classical feminist that somehow denies femininity."

Carol Reeves: Still Life as Safe Haven
Matisse once said that he wanted his paintings to be "like a comfortable armchair for the viewer" and this seems a statement with which Carol Reeves might readily agree, judging from the amiable appeal of the paintings she is showing at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from November 20th through December 11. (Reception Thursday, November 29, 6 to 8 PM.)

James Kandt's "Abstract Realism": Best of Two Worlds
The personal synthesis that he has come to refer to as "abstract realism" also harks back, in spirit if not in style, to earlier artists like Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O'Keeffe, pioneering modernists who never abandoned their roots in nature.

Evoking Spirit: The Intuitive Transformations of Allan Wash
Certain timeless motifs that occur again and again in native cultures worldwide inform the art of Allan Wash, whose compelling acrylic paintings can be seen at Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, from October 26 through November 15.

Denudation and Redemption in the Digital Art of Keith Kovach
The distinguished art historian Kenneth Clark once made a fine distinction between the nude and the naked. "The word nude.'" Clark pointed out, "carries, in educated usage no uncomfortable undertone." However, "to be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition."