Congratulations to Ruth Root for the nice review in today's New York Times.
- tom moody 5-09-2003 10:28 pm

Verbatim from the Times:

Ruth Root
Andrew Kreps Gallery
516 West 20th Street, Chelsea
Through May 24

In the midst of abstract painting, life. This seemed to be the point of the tiny eyes and cigarettes that Ruth Root used to wedge between the blocks of color in her otherwise abstract paintings. Redolent of the work of Philip Guston, these details spiced Ms. Root's quirky geometric allusions to Expressionist angst by way of underground comics. They also parodied modernist self-reference with slightly too-cute glimmerings of late nights spent in the studio staring, all the while smoking, at one's work.

For her third solo show, Ms. Root has reversed the insinuation. The eyes and cigarettes are gone, and as far as I'm concerned, good riddance. But the paintings, executed on thin, shaped sheets of aluminum, seem wedged into the walls. At least they are flat enough to create the illusion of being embedded, or recently excavated, like King Tut's tomb. Irregularly shaped, with rounded corners and added bumps, these works perpetuate a coy, endearing form of abstraction that evokes Richard Tuttle and less well-known early 70's artists like Judy Rifka. They resemble eccentric windows opening onto shallow pockets and corridors of space, which are checkered with overlapping squares, oblongs and diagonals in dark pinks, grays and browns.

At first these paintings seem too similar, but each has its own angling of planes and divisions and bit of sub-surface illusion. Thus, in the midst of life, abstract painting ? a big improvement for Ms. Root and, for us, a pleasant profusion of hard-edged, sweet-toned optical surprise.

- jim 5-09-2003 10:45 pm [add a comment]

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