Writhing Forms

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The New York Sun

Annabeth Rosen is not just holder of the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair at the University of California Davis in name but truly in spirit as well, extending the legacy of the legendary Arneson in a quest for fully sculptural expression through ceramic. Astoundingly for so revered a ceramic artist, her project room show at Meulensteen (formerly Max Protetch) is her New York solo debut. Filling the gallery’s window on 22nd Street are three hybrid personages that fuse elements of Medusa, Ubu Roi and the Day of the Triffids. Stacked defiantly on dollies are goofy, cartoonish, baton-cum-squash shapes exuberantly bundled and crammed together and seemingly pushing and shoving one to get on top of another like writhing souls in a scene from Dante. The artist has admitted to violent imagery rooted in a childhood of watching too much TV and bohemian New York years in rough neighborhoods. The result, though, is a gorgeous violence merrily recalling the sinewy contortions of Giambologna. Through November 6. 511 West 22nd Street, between 10th and 11th avenues, 212 633 6999

Mr Cohen, who is Publisher/Editor of artcritical.com, is art critic for the New York Sun

The New York Sun

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