Judy Glantzman 30-Year Retrospective

A bit differently, Glantzman’s practices as a Neo-Expressionist began not as an act of rebellion so much as a revision of her influences, which included Bacon, de Kooning, and her own mother, Abstract Expressionist Muriel Taub Glantzman. A vital part of the movement, in the 80s, she had over forty-five groups shows and sixteen solos shows. She was associated throughout that decadent decade with other East Village artists, but her critical respect for the past would eventually distinguish her from her peers whose rebellious distrust of their own predecessors would lead them further and further into ironic self-consciousness.

In the late 80s the full-on self-conscious tongue-in-cheek of Jeff Koons and Sherrie Levine came to define the latest art trend. At that point, it was clear Glantzman’s path diverged. She continued to have faith in her process and her expressive abilities, and although her work was often whimsical, it was never a joke, nor did it ever try ironically to cast doubt on his own ability to represent.

In the 90s, she often focused on drawing, producing exquisite small pen and ink works on paper, Durer-like in their sensitivity. Her paintings became increasingly related to drawing, culminating in the large White Paintings. In the next decade, always unafraid of risk, she leapt without transition to multicolored fully-covered canvases, remarking that she “learns from going to extreme.” With maturity, there came clarity and the further development of certain skills. Throughout, however, she maintained her early commitment to the pleasures of suspending judgment. To keep going was her way, no matter what disappointment or surprise she might encounter.

A thread runs through these thirty years, as recognizable as a person’s handwriting. Her subjects have always been introspective and psychological, self-portraits painted as in a dream. With each work, she finds a person that she didn’t know she knew, that, in coming to know, she helps make. Her many layered images show the human core as a morphing thing. Her lines and sketches capture many moments, but, significantly, only as they are about to happen. She has often noted that just before the instant of realization, she is already sensitive to it. And it seems that being an artist requires just this degree of prescience.

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