Magazine article Artforum International

Simon Dinnerstein: GERMAN CONSULATE GENERAL

Magazine article Artforum International

Simon Dinnerstein: GERMAN CONSULATE GENERAL

Article excerpt

Simon Dinnerstein's The Fulbright Triptych, 1971-74, is the centerpiece of this exhibition of twenty works at the German Consulate, Writing about the painting a year after it was made, critic John Russell called it a "scrupulous representation of a suburb in the sticks" and an "inventory the kinds of things that in 1975 gave [young] people a sense of their own identity." In fact, the "suburb" is the small town of Hessich Lichtenau in Germany, where Dinnerstein spent a Fulbright year in 1971. Two windows, both in the painting's central panel, offer I bird's-eye view of the village, revealing a placid street and the rooftop; of single-family homes. The "inventory" consists of postcards depicting works of art, mostly Northern Renaissance paintings, which hang or the wall alongside sketches suggesting works in progress. On the right panel is a self-portrait, and on the left panel a portrait of the artists with and daughter, also seated and frontal. The piece signals Dinnerstein"; continuing interests: the figure, his family and friends, and old-master artists. Among the artists who have influenced him, he says, are van Eyck Durer, and Rembrandt, and the twentieth-century artists who emulate them, such as Andrew Wyeth and, perhaps unexpectedly, Edward Weston. There is always an air of moody insularity to Dinnerstein',' works, as though the studio were a hortus conclusus, a sort of prelap-sarian space signaling Dinnersrem's self-sufficiency.

Russell thought Dinnerstein's triptych "deserves to go to a museum." At the time, such a statement may have implied that the work was regressive "museum art" rather than "progressive" modern art. Certainly the Museum of Modern Art would never have bought it--the painting i now in the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn .State University--but moma might be interested in Dinnerstein's more recent "Palette Paintings,'' 2003-. …

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