Milton Resnick: Allegory and Insignia
September 21 – December 26, 2014
The exhibition follows a recent large career survey at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ, and is projected to be the first of a series of exhibitions at the Chicago center, focusing on different aspects of Resnick’s long career.
This initial showing will examine the artist’s late, figurative works, dating from 1985 to his death in 2004. Resnick’s biographer, Geoffrey Dorfman, has described the late work as, “heterogeneous, as it includes allegorical scenes, individual figures, heads, abstract compositions and iconic but enigmatic insignias.”
“The late work of Resnick displays his engagement with the human figure for the first time, but ‘man’ serves primarily as an abstract element in the painting, an interruption, or rip within the continuous expansion of an articulated field. …. We have here an Adam not fashioned by clumsy Neolithic hands but incarnated by irritating the pigment, a transubstantiation of flesh into pigment. … No inviting space beckons the viewer nor compromises the quite distinctive agitation of the surface that, along with a preference for mineralized color, characterized all of Resnick’s work from the very beginning.
“The insignias allude to content much the same as the allegories do … The crosses and X forms are likely abstracted from his figures which frequently have their arms outstretched. … There is something satirical and even humorous in these insignias that can never seem to locate their center. The X, a sign of negation, frequently decomposes into two elbows that can’t bring themselves to align properly. … [Resnick] always maintained that ideas and narratives were just grist for his mill. … Content had no significance to him other than to provide an occasion to paint.”
Resnick had long connections to Chicago, and it is fitting that his works be exhibited here now. In the 1950s, Resnick showed at B. C. Holland Gallery, whose owner, Bud Holland, was a friend and supporter of his work and that of other Abstract Expressionists. Herman Spertus, founder of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, was another longtime friend and collector who owned a significant group of Resnick’s work. In the 1980s, CompassRose Gallery brought exhibitions of Resnick’s paintings to Chicago.
About the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation:
All of the works in the exhibition are from the collection of the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation, whose mission is to preserve, exhibit and publish the work of Milton Resnick, his wife, painter Pat Passlof, and other Abstract Expressionists.
For further information about the Foundation, visit http://resnickpasslof.org.
The Estate of Milton Resnick is represented by Cheim and Read, New York.