Donald Perlis, Joanna Dean Gallery, New York City (1980s)



 Classical in design, idealized in conception, romantic in feeling, Donald Perlis' city is not the grim, vital, vivid, exasperating experience New Yorkers tell themselves they love. His subway couple need fear no mugging.


 Standing isolated on the West Side Highway, hailing a cab or lighting a cigarette, large and sometimes lonely foreground figures, thinly and fluently brushed in oil, assert their humanity as part of, but separate from, the urban environment. Figures and still-lifes are interestingly combined with night-time lower Manhattan vistas glittering beyond apartment windows.


 "The Pedestrian," a pale, auburn-haired girl, vulnerable, poignant and luminous in a yellow blouse against a dark wall, is a striking image, the most painterly, solidly developed form in the exhibition.


Copyright by Don Gray


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