Wire And Can Pieces 1981 – 1991
Denise Bibro Fine Art, in Chelsea celebrates its exclusive representation of the Estate Of Leonard Rosenfeld with the gallery’s first exhibition one of the artist’s best series, Wire and Can Pieces: 1981-1991. These gritty, well-conceived works are comprised of recycled materials such as wire, fabric, cans etc. Rosenfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. After serving in WWII, he studied at the Art Students League in New York. Other than his time at the Art Students League he is primarily self-taught. He found a place to work near the school and started to paint. He never looked back. By the early 1950’s he was one of many artists, such as DeKooning, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollack, who regularly visited the famous artists’ haunt— The Cedar Tavern— a hubbub of artists, writers, and critics that drank, discussed, and argued about art and the art scene. Rosenfeld, like DeKooning and others of this crowd, had the uncanny ability to shift between representational and abstract modes. Many of these types of artists felt that they weren’t mutually exclusive. Rosenfeld’s work was not strictly abstract. He saw himself as an expressionist. His nature was not to be tacked to any one thing. His life’s works are always well-crafted and conceived even having, at times, a wanton trajectory. They were both with abandon and disciplined. Rosenfeld found a kindred spirit in artists like Van Gogh. Both having been rebellious, extremely talented- but resoundingly independent. Unique in developing their own styles and modus operandi. Rosenfeld left many wonderful series of works, each commanding their own references and special attention. Now, we will concentrate on the Wire and Can Series because these works succeed in combining Rosenfeld’s skills, wit, and references in a unique and powerful way. Rosenfeld depicts snippets of life and people that he has experienced and observed carefully. Each work has a colorful, rich composition and a provocative narrative. Blues Man, evokes the rich musical history of the city and its milieu. Gunga Din Meets King Gong, illustrates the vast interest in the movie character at the time. Drawings from the series and a work called Busted Jew convey the artist reaching out and connecting with life and his Jewish identity. All of Rosenfeld’s work is jammed with a sense of urgency to say something with a compelling throb of emotion. Rosenfeld has had numerous solo exhibitions and several two-person and group exhibitions. He showed with the famous dealer, Martha Jackson, in the sixties, and in the eighties with Ivan Karp, a noted dealer and the owner of OK Harris, NYC. He has exhibited at and/or has work in collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT. the National September 11th Museum, NYC. He has had numerous notices in the press, in the United States and internationally.