The New York Times

 

ART IN REVIEW

'A Triple Alliance '; 'City and Country'; Leif Kath


Published: February 13, 2004

Leif Kath
'At the Last Moment'
DCA Gallery
525 West 22nd Street , Chelsea
Through Feb. 21

Visually assertive for their modest size, the paintings and works on paper by the Danish artist Leif Kath are confined for the most part to a small abstract vocabulary: grids, rectangles, dots, wavy lines, blobs and calligraphic markings. But he makes eloquent use of these elements, alone or in various combinations.

Circles resembling transparent bubbles in tones of gray form all-over patterns in several acrylics; in others solid-color dots suggest constellation formations on delicately brushed monochrome grounds. In one lively little piece red dots and blobs sprawl freely over an imperfect grid of red lines on a grayish ground. Several cut-paper creations of black or red combine wavy lines, blobs and loopy calligraphic lines to elegant effect.

The most striking works here including those made recently at the Tamarind Institute, the lithography workshop in Albuquerque are a group of small etchings, some in color, that combine delicate lines with solid irregular shapes, more than a few apparently cued by the cactuses that abound in that region.

In one work, black dots and maverick shapes of solid black accompany finely drawn circles, parts of circles, free-hand markings and tiny powdery sprinklings beautifully deployed on a white ground. In another treasure, dense strokings of straight and loopy fine lines wander erratically over a ground of irregularly spaced horizontals. Tired of the Big Picture? This show is a welcome oasis.

GRACE GLUECK