David Rabinowitch
Carved Woodblock Monotypes form 1962. Sculptures 1968-1976

January 8 – March 1, 2003
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition, David Rabinowitch: Carved Woodblock Monotypes 1962.  Sculptures 1968 - 1976, opening on January 8, 2003 at the Peter Blum Gallery, 99 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012.

David Rabinowitch, born in 1943 in Toronto Canada, has consistently over the last four decades made significant contributions to sculpture. Rabinowitch ceased painting in 1962, transitioning to sculpture in 1960, after exposure to the work of David Smith. The 100 woodblock monotypes from 1962, being shown here for the first time, represent the work of the artist at the very point that his first sculptural works were perhaps being formulated and give us a fascinating insight into the process that produced the early Mass Works in steel. It is important to point out that these monotypes clearly precede and perhaps foreshadow, the early sculptures but are not studies for them.

The independence that the monotypes have from the sculpture is apparent, while they are directly expressive of sculptural issues, many of which Rabinowitch was the first to introduce. These lively, colorful almost calligraphic figures dance along in endless point and counter point relationships (that David Rabinowitch is also an accomplished linguist is no coincidence.) The grainy textures created by the woodblock surfaces relate directly to Rabinowitch's preference for worn, scarred and pitted steel, although concerns with weight and density are perhaps saved for the sculpture. Indeed, many of these monotypes are seemingly devoid of mass and enjoy a weightless freedom from gravity.

The early sculptures from 1968 - 1976 explore the properties and relations of perceived mass, defined in terms of weight, density, and viscosity.  These sculptures are solid and compact. They rest directly on the ground so that the entire sculpture can be seen immediately, an early concern of Rabinowitch.  They are inert and inanimate, strictly constructivist and rigorously abstract.  They are grooved and sliced, some suggesting possibilities of attachment or re-attachment. The sculpture Triangular Mass Plane is sliced into sections as though it could be endlessly reassembled, except that the weight even of one section is heavy enough to deter such attempts.  Raised Construction, in contrast to the other pieces, does not show the inert mass settled on the ground, rather it shows it in a stage of being lifted (or being lowered).  This series investigates the internal structure that would allow this to occur. Romanesque Abutment likewise investigates internal structure. It shows how the ground, viewed through deep wide slices on the underside, supports the object. This series is concerned also with the perceived external pressure these masses are capable of exerting, as the sculpture appears to support the stretch of wall against which it rests.