DAVID COHEN, Editor           
       February 2004  


LOVERS: Drawings by Rosemarie Beck and Paul Resika, 1968-69

Lori Bookstein Fine Art
37 West 57 Street, 3rd Floor
New York
Opens February 14th, 3-6 pm
Continues through March 12, 2004


left: Rosemarie Beck Untitled 1969, pencil on paper, 11 x 15 inches; right: Paul Resika Untitled (6 February 1969) 1969, conte crayon on paper, 12-1/4 x 17 inches; courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art

1968. Year of the "Events". The Summer of Love and all that. In a studio in New York's Washington Square, two young artists stage an event of their own: a pair of lovers sit for them, warding off winter with poses of passion.

"Erotic Resika" is a tautology, for whatever he depicts- it can be a boat in harbor- is X-rated. In his pastels of the loving couple, drawing is as frenzied as any amorous act. Hot contrasts of orange and pink sweat it out in conté. These drawings were apparently saved from a studio fire: sfumage casts appropriately smouldering looks.

Beck brings a contrastedly classical equilibrium to the life room. She is apollonian to his dionysian. Her couples could equally be resting after love or on the flight into Egypt. She views the lovers through seven veils, one each for Shakespeare, Ovid, Titian, Michelangelo, Correggio, Tiepolo, and lastly, her own "Oh": a secret pleasure in unexpected shapes, the flirtatious possibilities of a smudge, a spatial abbreviation, a coy rhyming of buttock and member. Less overtly visceral, she nonetheless taps a whole erotics of negative space, a hermetic language of love.

Where Resika's gaze joins the lovers to make it a threesome, Beck brings a post-coital langour to the same poses. But her classical serenity is a timely reminder: love wasn't invented in 1968 after all.

of related interest: Maureen Mullarkey on Rosemarie Beck: Paintings 1965-2003 at the New York Studio School; David Cohen on Paul Resika at Vered Gallery, July 2003

this text is reproduced with permission from the exhibition announcement card

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