Judy Glantzman, works on paper

April 7-May 21, 2001

Works on Paper by Judy Glantzman. Curated by Neil Grayson


Judy Glantzman at Dactyl Foundation

Cynthia Nadelman

It was fitting that around the corner from Judith Glantzman’s recent exhibition there was a show of James Ensor’s works on paper at the Center, the site of Glantzman’s comeback almost a decade ago, when she was found to have been quietly focusing on drawing in ballpoint and graphite. Many of those were included in the show at Dactyl. The elements of intense self-scrutiny – of the child in the adult (and vice versa), of androgyny, identification with animals, masquerade – are part of what link Glantzman to such artists as Ensor, Schiele, and Picasso, as well as the powerful Polish artist Witold Wojkiewicz and Paula Modersohn-Becker. These drawings frankly stand up to the best of those others in psychological intensity, confidence of draftsmanship, and honesty of communication from heart and head to hand.Many of Glantzman’s recent drawings have been monumental in size, and their directness and spareness of line have translated into paintings (examples were included here), contrasting with the artist’s iconic, paint-encrusted earlier works. By claiming a de Kooning-esque freedom of gesture and attitude for her self-portraiture, Glantzman allows herself room to brood, reflect, and comment. While this work lacks irony and rhetorical grandstanding, it nevertheless includes a sense of being about painting and not just about painting. The drawings, however, are too intimate to be about drawing – they are simply drawings. With their marks over marks, the directness of the subjects’ gazes, and their variety of selves, they are a latter-day anomaly. Perhaps a century out of sync, they constitute a fresh wrinkle in the tradition of draftsmanship that culminates in a distinctly 20th Century view of the self.

Upturned Breasts