Richard Klein’s newest body of work expands on his ongoing investigation of the physical versus the immaterial. Primarily utilizing found glass objects, beginning with his signature eyeglass lenses, the artist’s pallet has expanded from the purely optical to components such as ashtrays, jar lids, speakers. Strategically placed corporate logos bring an additional dimension to the conceptual depth of Klein’s work. The four sculptures included in the exhibition, Transparency, Two Trains, Mantle, and Black Friday, all make reference the United States through allusions to iconic American objects: the flag, the mailbox, the hearth, and the shopping cart. These new works add to Klein’s metaphysical concerns a subtle layer of social and political commentary that is based in our current transitional moment. In two of the works, Black Friday and Two Trains, Klein has ominously painted the interior of their glass surfaces opaque black “blinding” both the objects themselves and the viewer’s experience. Transparency has given way to obscurity, light has surrendered to dark, and certainty has lapsed into uncertainty. Even in their philosophical rigor, Klein’s work arrives an improbable but undeniable elegance and beauty.
Richard Klein’s previous exhibitions with Caren Golden Fine Art were featured in Art in America and Sculpture magazine. He was the 2004 Connecticut Artist of the Year. His work has recently been featured in “THE FREEDOM CENTRE: THIS SHOW WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE” at Hales Gallery in London, “Shattering Glass: New Perspectives” at Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York and “Optical Allusions” at Wake Forest University Art Gallery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Julie Rofman’s paintings investigate current societal anxieties and how they are reflected through excessive consumption. Whether culturally significant artifacts or unidentifiable industrial debris, it all becomes fodder for her sumptuous and eclectic paintings. Rofman’s newest body of work is informed by the recent turmoil in the financial markets that has left much of America reeling and unstable. As Rita Gonzalez stated in New American Paintings, “Julie Rofman’s perverse build up of consumer goods transmit the massive spoils of globalization.” The work Bank features the familiar arcade game called “the Claw” but in Rofman’s version a mirror occupies the area at the bottom where the elusive prizes usually sit. Instead, those toys are stuck to the ceiling of the game and the claw can only grasp at the mirror image leaving the prizes such as Jeff Koons sculptures, an Aeron chair and a Persian rug unattainable. The painting Trading Post depicts a NYSE trading post as a circus tent. Buildings outstretch to the horizon line, alluding to the countless homes in America facing foreclosure. Here, as in many works, Rofman incorporates the motif of the patchwork quilt as a symbol of frugality and community; ideas that she sees as increasingly important in light of the current state of global social and economic affairs.
Rofman’s paintings were selected for inclusion in the current West Coast edition of New American Paintings and featured in the “Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape” exhibition at the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, NY in the summer of 2008. Her work has been presented in group exhibitions at the Carl Berg Gallery in Los Angeles, Electric Works in San Francisco and in “This Modern World” at the GE Headquarters in Fairfield, CT.