Monica Uszerowicz
December 11, 2017

Timely, Exciting Work by Women Artists at Miami Art Week

Frances Trombly & Lynne Golob Gelfman. Left: “Unravel 4″ (2017); handwoven cotton, acrylic 28×26″; Right: “Unravel 2” (2017); handwoven cotton, acrylic, 12 1⁄2×12 1⁄2” (image courtesy Emerson-Dorsch Gallery)

To soothe myself, I went to Emerson-Dorsch’s Sunrise, Sunset (on view through January 19), which was mostly silentI was already biased — the show’s theme revolves around a story by Edwidge Danticat, who I love. That the story speaks to intergenerational relationships made a collaborative piece between Frances Trombly and Lynne Golob Gelfman, “Unravel 4” (2017), all the more special. Trombly, who primarily works with textiles, unraveled the threads of a canvas painting by Golob Gelfman, then re-wove them back in, creating a gently textured work. Then Golob Gelfman repainted the canvas. It’s an aesthetically pleasing testament to some of the tasks associated with women: handcrafts and weaving, but also mutual understanding. The people who support women best are other women.

Excerpted from:


Icon Las Olas Installation, 2017

Each Painting - Acrylic on canvas, 108"x54"
Related Group Collection
Fort Lauderdale, Florida



Lynne Golob Gelfman’s ‘sometimes random’

Art | Nov 2017 | BY Petra Mason

While today’s world increasingly resembles The Disasters of War by Spanish painter Francisco Goya, New York-born, Miami-based artist Lynne Golob Gelfman’s quiet, minimalist paintings are like a poultice for the soul, soothing our eyes. “Lynne Gelfman combines the intellectual concern and rigor of minimalism with a unique interest in pattern and process,” says Tobias Ostrander, head curator of Perez Art Museum Miami and longtime Gelfman champion. Ostrander is also organizing an exhibition showcasing Gelfman’s remarkable minimalist abstractions for Art Basel Miami Beach next year.
“sometimes random,” currently on view at Marisa Newman Projects in New York until November 10, is located in a snug Korean K-Town space, nestled above gaudy karaoke bars and kimchi joints. There, among the man-made chaos of New York City, Gelfman’s keenly observed paintings offer an oasis reflecting traces of nature, working in her signature, unique “in verso”process. The new series of nine paintings create a continuum of her earlier grid based paintings, work she began in New York in the 1960s. The added element of the continuum of time, 1960s to now, add heft to Gelfman’s grid, now softened by the light, clouds and water elements of Miami.

Thru tb. 2015

The artist’s studio is like a lush tropical garden featuring rare tropical plants, including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. It almost feels like an annex of the nearby 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Garden. Gelfman, a self-described trickster spends most days submerged in paint and nature. Gelfman is currently also busy with a monograph in association with Natalia Zuluaga, the artistic director of ArtCenter/South Florida who co-runs [NAME] Publications, a nonprofit art book press in Miami.

For “sometimes random,” the series of nine canvases reference Gelfman’s New York series thru, and signal the comfort and confidence of an artist who has mastered her medium. The “in verso” technique she developed (using oil paint and dish soap) to create bleached-out color on the reverse side of the canvas offer the artist’s expression of the Miami landscape. It also suggests a vulnerability to the sometimes randomness of paint seeping through from the other side of the canvas to create abstractions that explore the play between structure and chance.







Lynne Golob Gelfman 
sometimes random 
October 11 – November 10, 2017

Opening reception: October 11, 6 – 8 pm


MG 4455 thru 3.10.2015 48x48

Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 3.10, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches


 MG 6808

Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 4.1, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches


Lynne Golob Gelfman presents new paintings from thru, a series of paintings that she began in the 1960s in New York City. Her move to Miami in the 1970s brought new influences to her 
process. While continuing to work with the grid, she noticed that the bleached out color on the 
reverse side of the canvas offered a new way to express the
Miami landscape, architecture, and 
light. The once rigid grid of the 1960s became vulnerable to the sometime randomness of paint 
seeping through from the other side. The abstract paintings in this exhibition explore this play 
between structure and chance.

Gelfman's work is included in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami; Miami Dade College; the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale; the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University; the Pérez Art Museum Miami and many other public and private collections. Gelfman recently won an Art in Public Places commission to design a tile mural for the new Westchester Cultural Arts Center in Miami based on an image from the thru series.

Lynne Golob Gelfman will have a solo exhibition opening at Pérez Art Museum Miami next December 2018 to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.


Gallery hours for this exhibition will be Wednesday through Friday, 1 – 6 pm, and by appointment.











thru. 4.1 2016.acrylic on canvas. 48 x 48 inches



A Studio Visit with Lynne Golob Gelfman
interviewed by Raymond S. Elman, November 2016



Art Basel VIP Studio Tour

Visit Gelfman on the December Art Basel VIP studio tour,
Saturday, December 03, 2016. 9 am till 12 noon.
For more information contact: artiststudiovisit2016@gmail.com



October 2015
THE magazine | 51


Gelfman’s paintings by describing what they are not. Her abstract geometrical compositions are not stable. They are not self-contained or discrete. They are not narrative, they are not finished, and they are not perfect. They may not even be paintings (more on that to come). As for what they are: They are encounters with process, with pattern, with the human penchant for order, and with the human inability to establish and maintain order in any meaningful way.

The poetry of the Miami-based painter's work begins with its remarkable simplicity, both in terms of process and aesthetic. The artist creates abstracted paintings in series, which frequently explore textures and patterns found in the natural world, and sometimes the built environment. With series titles including "dune," "cloud/water/sand," and "topography," the paintings communicate elemental referents without representing them. In these series, the fluid nature of sand or water is embodied in paint that is applied with both the evenness of pattern and the open embrace of chance, the result of her technique of "reverse painting," in which she paints on the back side of the canvas and allows the pigment to soak through.

The inclinations present in these previous works are expanded upon in the "thru" series exhibited in Dyeing the Grid at William Siegal Gallery (through October 13). As implied in the title, this recent body of paintings, created from 2014 to 2015, drops any reference to the natural world altogether and shifts toward a meditation on process via minimalist geometries. It is a useful shift; the resulting works get at the meat of her already well- established practice. Gelfman paints in reverse: she applies paint to the backside of the canvas and allows the paint to soak through the substrate, resulting in unpredictable, sparse compositions. Or, we can play with semantics and rephrase this to say that she paints, allows the pigment to soak through and saturate the canvas, and then exhibits only the reverse side of the canvas. This second phrasing suggests that perhaps the painting is hidden from us, and we see it "through a glass, darkly." Returning to the things Gelfman’s paintings are not, I might include that we are not actually looking at the painting at all; we see its shadow, we see its interpretation via canvas or muslin.

We see an amorphous grid of color that loosely defines an abstract geometric pattern comprised of triangles and squares. That these patterns are seemingly infinite, extending beyond the confines of the picture plane, suggests a relationship with textile. The presence of Pre- Columbian textiles—the gallery also specializes in ancient Pre-Columbian art objects and textiles—throughout the exhibition augments the experience of Gelfman's work by providing us with an entry point into a discussion about pattern. Pattern is a central principle in art (not to mention the universe), and regardless of whether a pattern is representational (such as floral motifs), or abstract (such as the square geometries in a Nasca culture tie-dye tunic included in the exhibition), visual pattern has a relational capacity, much like language. Be it through identifiable motifs, symbolic shapes, or colors, for Pre-Columbian cultures (and many other cultures around the world), pattern allowed for meaningful expressions of spirituality, genealogy, relationship with land, and more.

This smart curatorial pairing informs our viewing of Gelfman's pattern-language, and is a clear instance of art history's power to elevate our experience of contemporary art. The artist's geometries, stripped of content beyond a palette of acidic pastels, charcoals, and muted jewel-tones, appear to us like a cipher. The reverse painting process acts like a veil, obscuring the truth hidden somewhere beyond the imperfect grid available to us. These works set up a Plato's Cave dynamic, in which we see the shadows on the cave wall, not the figures. Running with Plato's theory of Forms, I could say that we see the ideal Form of the artist's vision in its earthly shape. The question then is what do we suppose is beyond the liminal space of the canvas? A perfect geometry that we can only grasp in a state of imperfection? Or a divine cloud of whirling color, which we can only participate in through the limited means of the triangle and square?


Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 5, acrylic on canvas, 54" x 108", 2014


William SiegaL Gallery
540 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe

Visual Art Source

Editorial: Features

Lynne Golob Gelfman

William Siegal Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Jordan Eddy

Continuing through October 13, 2015

How does the human brain store memories of texture and pattern? Imagine holding your favorite coffee mug, or folding an old family quilt. If you felt smooth porcelain at your fingertips and saw a flash of a patchwork pattern, you’ve discovered the ephemeral material Lynne Golob Gelfman captures on canvas in “Dyeing the Grid.” Gelfman’s acrylic abstractions are inspired by the artist’s collection of baskets and textile fragments from Africa and Latin America. Watery grids of geometric forms seem to ripple just above the surface, bringing forth synesthetic impressions of the warp and weft of these objects.

Treasures from the gallery’s extensive collection of Pre-Columbian textiles complete the experience. One moment, you’re lost in the undulating web of a Peruvian gauze headcloth, circa 900-1532 AD. A few steps over, Gelfman’s work masterfully mimics these tensile distortions using the simplest of forms on a vast white canvas. After you've taken a long look, ask a sales associate to pull a canvas off the wall. On the back you’ll find a dense expanse of pigment that exposes Gelfman’s spectacular secret: these are reverse paintings. The shimmering shapes on the front are ghosts of brushstrokes Gelfman applied on verso, sending pigments bleeding through the material. The uniform weave of a manufactured canvas reveals itself to be a modern corollary to the hand-woven textiles of centuries past. Gelfman surrenders herself to the unpredictability of a swiftly spreading drop of dye.

Visual Art Source (VAS) is the comprehensive online resource of critical discourse and information exclusively devoted to the contemporary and fine art world of the Western and Midwestern United States.



KVSF 101.5
The Voice of Santa Fe

Two Unique Women in the Arts
interviewed by Jill Scott Momaday 3 September 2015

lynne's interview begins at 22 minutes



Dyeing the Grid
Featuring Lynne Golob Gelfman
Aug 28 - Oct 13, 2015

William Siegal Gallery is pleased to present Dyeing the Grid,
an exhibition of work by Lynne Golob Gelfman alongside a selection of
Pre-Columbian Andean Textiles.
The show will open August 28, 2015 with a reception from 5 - 7pm,
at 540 S. Guadalupe Street in the Railyard Arts District.

 Lynne Gelfman, Thru 5  acrylic on canvas  54 x 108 inches

 Lynne Gelfman, (detail) acrylic on canvas  

"...Gelfman is seated firmly within her generation of North American abstractionists yet brings to her work a very particular set of referents, many extending from her deep engagement with South America. Sources for Gelfman, whether these involve visual effects, questions of technique and surface, procedural encouragement, or straightforward motifs, can be found in Chinese scholar rocks and in fragments of African and Latin American basketry or textile fragments the artist has collected over the past four decades; in the delicate yet forceful meditative repetitions of the painter Agnes Martin, with their reference in the experience of vision's extent in the crisp expanses of New Mexican air, or in the free-flowing stain-paintings of Morris Louis's furling series; in the hallucinatory optics of British painter Bridget Riley, which themselves also have an interesting relation to textile patterns and repeats; in the architectonics of the Venezuelan Gego's deceptively delicate wire structures or Brazilian Lygia Clark's phenomenologically complex neo-concretist paintings and constructions, works that engage the eye as an organ of touch."
                                                             -Judith F. Rodenbeck from Trued Surface

Lynne Gelfman, Thru 2.y  acrylic on canvas   48 x 48 inches

Gelfman's work has a strong visual relationship to ancient Sihuas, Huari and Nasca design motifs. Further, her unique use of dyeing on the back of her canvases to create subtle bleed affects on the front, generates similar affects seen in resist and tie-dyeing techniques common in ancient Andean textiles.

Border Panel (Detail),   Sihuas Culture - 100 BC - 300 AD    84 x 12 inches

Tie-Dye Tunic (Detail),   Nasca Culture - 200 - 600 AD    72 x 44 inches

WILLIAM SIEGAL GALLERY | 540 South Guadalupe street | Santa Fe | NM | 87501



Cool Hunting

Lynne Golob Gelfman + Wallpaper Projects
by Katie Olsen on 11 May 2015

Gelfman wallpaer

Working with Brooklyn-based Wallpaper Projects, abstract painter Lynne Golob Gelfman has created a collection of wallpapers—available in cotton and silk—derived from her stunning, textured paintings. The endeavor was conceived last year with Wallpaper Project founders Amanda Dandeneau and David Jimenez, and the result is 13 different multidimensional designs that transform the surrounding space. "In 2014, I met Amanda and David at their Design Miami booth," Gelfman tells CH. "We decided to collaborate on a series of papers using fragments derived from my paintings." Gelfman was particularly excited to be working with Wallpaper Projects' easy-to-peel reusable fabric "that gives a very special surface."

For complete article see: Cool Hunting



Pérez Art Museum Miami



The Miami Rail
Spring 2014



click title for pdf, please scroll down to text in yellow for lynne's review.





The Fortnightly Review
May 10, 2014

excerpt from
Wealth and taste in Miami

"...Yet, not all is arrant superficiality and heavy-handed overdetermined expressions of identity in Miami. Perhaps the most exciting work is found in a series of paintings that could be loosely classified as works of geometric abstraction. In truth, they are elegant partite on the aesthetics of aporia. The artist, Lynne Golob Gelfman, recently exhibited these in Trued Surface at Dimensions Variable. In its design, Trued Surface is the chronicle of an idea and how it worked its way across the artist’s mind, across decades. Nearly half of the exhibition is dedicated to larger-scale paintings (generally 168 x 244 cm) that have been executed very recently, between 2013 through 2014. However, the other half of the exhibition features pieces composed on paper and on a much smaller scale (21 x 35 cm) in 1980. At the mid-point of the exhibition, balancing the two periods like a fulcrum is the work that came before all the rest, though it is placed after them, the “thru gold 2” (1978), which is roughly 152 cm both in length and height and is the exhibition’s dominant motif—a recurring triangle with angles softened like the sail of a boat. It is chromatically commanding—seemingly refulgent with its intricate patterns of triangles, row upon row turning first right then left then right again, ripening from gold to russet, fading into the chill of slate blue or sea green. Still, “thru gold 2” merely supplies a vocabulary, a way of expressing with bare form the kinds of things that elude capture by either the sedulous enumeration of florid description or the mimetic command Flemish-style detail might muster.
Indeed, the triangle becomes a means of expressing something beyond a simple bi-fold possibility. More than a question of something emerging or being effaced, arriving or departing, the later works represent visually what insinuation—like the compelling, inscrutable laughter of strangers—feels like on the most visceral level. Gelfman flirts with indeterminacy even in the arrangement of shape, persistently reminding us that a triangle is merely a square, halved diagonally—a point continually driven home by the pairing of chromatic triangles with a twin, a blank counterpart. More than this, however, Gelfman’s four latest paintings, “thru 1” through “thru 4” (2013-2014) are studies in the mystery of how a repeated shape, a predictability, can manage to not create but invoke the possibility of an encounter with what we will never, ultimately, know, the suggestion of places we can never see."



Dimensions Variable

100 NE 11 STREET, MIAMI, FL 33132

Trued Surface-
Lynne Golob Gelfman

January 11 - February 23, 2014
Reception Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6 - 11 pm

Detail: thru 2, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 108 inches

Dimensions Variable presents trued surface, an exhibition by Miami based artist
Lynne Golob Gelfman. The exhibition runs from January 11 – February 23, 2014.
The reception will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014, from 6 – 11 pm.

Lynne Golob Gelfman makes abstract paintings that are rooted in the visible world. She identifies and isolates textures, forms or patterns, then repeats them to create compositions that seem as if they could flow in all directions. As a result of their repetitive markings, her works become as much about the process of their own making as about any outside source.

In the exhibition, trued surface, Gelfman continues to explore her engagement with the possibilities of mark making. In the new works from the thru series, she embraces her interest in textiles, old and new, and plays with paint, moving from the back of the canvas to the front and back again. This investigation began in the 70’s as seen now in thru-green 2 in the Americana Gallery, Pérez Art Museum Miami.



Books and Books

A conversation about trued surface with Patricia Fuller, former curator of public art, MIT, and Lynne Golob Gelfman.. Thursday, January 23, 2014 Books and Books, Coral Gables, 6:30pm.

trued surface   lynne golob gelfman

trued surface

trued surface presents nine series of paintings from the work of Lynne Golob Gelfman that explore her engagement with the possibilities of mark making. As art historian Judith F. Rodenbeck writes in the accompanying essay, Gelfman’s “embrace of chance in the production of her work recalls the willingness of the fresco artist to allow nature to act,” adding that Gelfman’s “matter of factness of process” results in “paintings that are insistently made, built—yet, with a witty, scintillating brilliance....”

In a conversation with writer Lisa Wohl, Gelfman discusses some of the roots of her abstract images, including her fascination with everyday objects from different cultures, her deep connection to the natural environment, and her longing for a sense of place. Leslie Miller of The Grenfell Press has designed this book to give a vivid experience of Gelfman’s paintings as, to quote Gelfman, “fields of movement.”

114 pages, 107 color illustrations
soft cover with dust jacket, smyth sewn binding




book spread

Available on Amazon, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Books and Books, Coral Gables, Luminaire, Miami.
Go to Amazon in new window



Pérez Art Museum Miami

PAMM Americana Formalizing Craft

thru-green 2. 1978. 66" x 96"(pg 11 trued surface) is included in the Pérez Art Museum Miami's inaugural exhibition, AMERICANA.
Opening December 4, 2013.





lynne golob gelfman: sand


June 7- July 31, 2012

Opening Reception for the artist:  Thursday, June 7th, 2012, 6 – 9pm


vonHartz Installation 1 von Hartz Installation 2



“To see the world in a grain of sand….”

--William Blake


The works in the exhibition lynne golob gelfman: sand at Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, June 7-July 31, refer to landscape but do not represent it.  Rather they evoke a sense of place. 


Sand in its many permutations has engaged Gelfman for years in her process of making abstract paintings.  This show sand begins with the water/clouds/sand series and the experience of walking through sand.  Each painting suggests a step on a path across sand and the markings that the imaginary passage leaves behind. 


The works from the dune series explore the movement of light shifting on sand.  As the viewer traverses the image, the surface changes constantly modulated by the angle of light.  To quote the art historian Judith F. Rodenbeck, these new works are noted for “a silky liveness of muted and elegant shimmer, indefinably layered and pearlescent, coruscating.”


The disc series, in the second room, examines the physicality of sand in its varied textures and abrasive power.  Used to create the painting “between 1” included in the oil and sand series, the discs reveal Gelfman’s process of layering and offer a through-view to the element of space itself.  The use of the sanding machine resembles the effect of wind and water on sand.  Here Gelfman yields the control embodied in the hand and embraces chance.


Gelfman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1966 and the School of the Arts, Columbia University, MFA in 1968. Recent selected solo exhibitions include scapes at the Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum, FIU (2012); sand at Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery (2012); between at Carol Jazzar Gallery (2010); water/clouds/sand at Luminaire X (2009) and react at Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2006).  Her work is included in many prominent private and corporate collections as well in the permanent collections of museums such as the Miami Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Current projects include a book with an essay by Judith Rodenbeck.


For more information, please contact the gallery at info@alejandravonhartz.net or call 305.438.0220.

Visit our website at www.alejandravonhartz.net





The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum

lynne golob gelfman: scapes

Florida International University, Miami

Opening:  May 16, 2012, 6-9 pm

May 16, 2012 September 2, 2012

Lynne Golob Gelfman makes abstract paintings that are rooted in the visible world.  She identifies and isolates textures, forms or patterns, either natural or manmade, then repeats them to create compositions that seem as if they could flow forever in all directions. In recent years, inspired by morning walks along the Miami shore, she has been making works that evoke the reflection of light on water. But as a result of their repetitive markings, her works become as much about the process of their own making as about any outside source.


The works in the exhibition scapes refer to landscape but do not represent it. Instead, they suggest a sense of place. 


In the most recent series, the dune paintings, the surface image changes with the slightest shift either in the viewer’s position or in the angle of light. These paintings, which are never the same nor fixed in time, offer an experience of perception- what happens when the viewer traverses the image. 


In scapes, Gelfman’s images lead beyond the referential and into an awareness of the elemental.


The dune series was inspired by hiking through the undulating dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil and seeing sand always moving in the play of wind and sun.


image: dune 25, 2011. metallic and acrylic paint. 48 x 48 inches.  one painting seen from four angles of light




The Miami Herald

Artist Lynne Golob Gelfman’s work shimmers, flows at two Miami shows

AT THE FROST: Lynne Golob Gelfman’s show ’scapes’ is on exhibit at the Miami museum.    RICHARD FENDELMAN  

On opposite ends of town, the shimmery fluid abstractions crafted by locally based Lynne Golob Gelfman combine to create a large survey of the work from of one of Miami’s most interesting – though sometimes overlooked – painters.

Gelfman’s compositions, which can be found in a number of museums across the country including here in Miami, are references to the never-static natural environment that surrounds us -- but not literally. Through repetitive markings and variations of one color scheme within each frame, the paintings seem to flow and shift, reminiscent of waves, clouds and sand, in perpetual states of change and formation.

So the titles of the two exhibits up for the summer are more than appropriate: scapes at the Frost Museum of Art at FIU, and sand at the Alejandra von Hartz Gallery in Wynwood.

Because of the subtlety to these compositions, the slightest change in light or in viewing positioning can transform the dynamic of the whole piece, which becomes clear when visiting the FIU show, spread through two rooms on the top floor. This location allows for natural light to shine in from a roof sky-light during the day, especially in the second room where several large paintings that first appear sandy- and dusty-colored hang. But move in closer, step from side to side, and the metallic material that Gelfman has applied to these works make them glimmer and gain a luminescence that at first, from a distance, is imperceptible.

That gets to the essence of why Gelfman’s paintings are so seductive and engaging: they are about movement, color, patterning and illusion more than studies in representational landscapes. Unfortunately, artificial light is not as generous in allowing some of this detail to shine through, so it’s great that some of these works get that exposure.

The most recent works -- found in the dune series at the Frost -- are based on Gelfman’s trip through one of the most fascinating ecological and geological outposts in the world, the Lençois Maranhenses in northeastern Brazil. Covered in undulating, white sand dunes that are interrupted by turquoise lakes, there is virtually no vegetation in this strange amalgam of desert and water. The vistas are endless and -- thanks to natural forces such as wind -- the sand is always shifting; like them, the paintings leave the impression that they go on forever and simply won’t stand still. To underscore this idea of limitlessness, in many paintings Gelfman lets the paint drip over to the sides, a signature mark of hers.

Other works flow in a less horizontal movement and suggest aerial views of a landscape, a metropolis, or ruins. Such is the case in the first room at FIU, where a number of paintings were inspired by a trip to North Africa, a parched land dotted with remnants of numerous ancient civilizations. These feel more like excavations than reflections.

Gelfman has also been influenced by a Japanese aesthetic, which is apparent in how her use of muted colors leaves a contemplative residue; and her extensive time spent in South America. (She lived in Bogota, Colombia for a time.) But the New York native, a Columbia University MFA graduate and long-time teacher who has made Miami home, seems to be most impressed over time with the nature directly around her, particularly the action of the tides, waves and sand that she observes daily with early morning walks along Biscayne Bay near Old Cutler Road.

Examples of this make up a part of the sand show at Von Hartz. These smaller works, in shades of greens, blues, purples and often in a grouping, are unmistakably references to these surroundings, although still planted in abstraction. The blues sparkle when passing by them, as the sea does when the sun hits lapping waves; while the greens might suggest the kinetic state of the shore-line sand as the waves constantly run over it and then retreat. As the sun’s light passes through clouds, bounces off waves, and glints off sand crystals, the motion never stops in this micro world.

As the artist explains, some of these works in groupings are frames that together tell a visual tale, whereas some of the larger-scale paintings are all-inclusive and stand alone. Both are represented. One especially intriguing series is comprised of two rows of small paintings, five in each, all in variations of white. As Miamians are well aware, hot mid-day heat can turn the world white – so called white-heat, washing out the subtle colors that can be observed at softer times, in early morning or twilight.

This series seems to detail that intense time of the day, when the sky, the water, the sand can fade to white. In the first couple of frames, some distinct color still emerges, until it almost all is erased by the last panel. “These are almost like drawings,” says Gelfman. “I like how the paint disappears into the surface,” becoming smooth and monotone.

Smooth in this case is literal. While nature, perspective and illusion make up part of the picture, Gelfman’s work is also about process. These compositions can appear so tactile – like tapestries at times – that viewers inevitably want to touch them. And because she does indeed sand her works and employ other techniques, she manipulates the surfaces of her paintings in such a way that when actually touching them (if you do, do it gingerly), they come as a surprise. Some are as soft as baby skin, others rough; at times her intense process has ripped the canvas. She uses acrylic, oil, sanding machines and unrevealed techniques to create her pieces.

Several years ago, in almost direct reference to the process of her work, Gelfman titled her shows in New York and at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery resist and react, emphasizing the push and pull of the imagery as well as the actual texture of the works.

Her patterning, in fact, can make the natural and man-made worlds overlap. At times the paintings can look more like woven textiles – or, conversely, vague images of a chain-link fence, the ultimate urban structure that unlike sand under waves, is immutable. As Gelfman says, “illusion is part of the work.”

On the back wall at the Von Hartz gallery, several very different works have been displayed. Called discs, they are circular molds on paper of a sanding-machine wheel, which Gelfman has used throughout the years. But they are also portals into the process of creation: the abrasive power of a sander helped form her imagery, while the abrasive power of nature helped form our environment.

While gentle and meditative on one level, the deeper one probes Gelfman’s work, the more complex it becomes -- waves, dunes and clouds are awe-inspiring, but both because of their beauty and their potency. Gelfman would have us explore it all.

© 2012 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

MNP Wordmark Black


Lynne Golob Gelfman 
sometimes random 
October 11 – November 10, 2017

Opening reception: October 11, 6 – 8 pm

 MG 4455 thru 3.10.2015. 48x48

Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 3.10, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

 MG 6808

Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 4.1, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Lynne Golob Gelfman presents new paintings from thru, a series of paintings that she began in the 1960s in New York City. Her move to Miami in the 1970s brought new influences to her 
process. While continuing to work with the grid, she noticed that the bleached out color on the 
reverse side of the canvas offered a new way to express the 
Miami landscape, architecture, and 
light. The once rigid grid of the 1960s became vulnerable to the sometime randomness of paint 
seeping through from the other side. The abstract paintings in this exhibition explore this play 
between structure and chance.

Gelfman's work is included in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami; Miami Dade College; the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale; the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University; the Pérez Art Museum Miami and many other public and private collections. Gelfman recently won an Art in Public Places commission to design a tile mural for the new Westchester Cultural Arts Center in Miamibased on an image from the thru series.

Lynne Golob Gelfman will have a solo exhibition opening at Pérez Art Museum Miami next December 2018 to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.

Gallery hours for this exhibition will be Wednesday through Friday, 1 – 6 pm, and by appointment.










Lynne Golob Gelfman: la pintura como impermanencia

Janet Batet

Si un término pudiera abarcar la producción de Lynne Golob Gelfman este sería, sin lugar a dudas, el enigma.

La percepción de la obra Gelfman acontece en dos ejes perpendiculares. El primero, ese que resulta cuando nos desplazamos extasiados frente a la superficie del cuadro siempre cambiante y pletórico en estímulos visuales; el segundo, el que nos compulsa como fuerza centrípeta hacia el interior de la obra que busca develar la enrevesada maraña que subyace detrás de cada una de las obras de Gelfman.

Lynne Golob Gelfman (Waukegan, Illinois, 1944) creció en Nueva York donde se graduó del Sarah Lawrence College en 1966 y obtuvo, dos años más tarde, el máster en Bellas artes en la Columbia University. Insaciable viajera, Gelfman conoce América Latina y sienta residencia en Miami desde la temprana fecha de 1972. En 1974 tiene lugar la primera exposición personal de Gelfman en el entonces Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, en Coral Gables. Desde entonces, la cohesiva obra de Gelfman ha seguido fiel a su interés por la abstracción cuyo gesto no enfático la alía a la tradición del post-painterly abstraction, término acuñado por el crítico Clement Greenberg en 1964 como contraposición a la grandilocuencia del expresionismo abstracto.

Gelfman tiene dos excelentes muestras abiertas al público local: Sand y Scape, expuestas respectivamente en la galería Alejandra Von Hartz, del Wynwood District y el Frost Art Museum de la FIU. El título de la muestra del Frost ( Scape), que es una mutilación del vocablo anglófono landscape (paisaje), alude al firme propósito de esta artista de eludir cualquier pretensión de representación.

La obra de Gelfman tiene el don de la reminiscencia. Sus cuadros, cargados de efectos sinestésicos, renuncian al trillado camino de la representación para adentrarse en el estímulo puro, despojado de toda narración. Pareciera contraproducente decir esto de una obra visual, pero la carga evocadora de la propuesta de Gelfman es tal que después de transitar frente ellas, el espectador puede atreverse sin miedo a cerrar los ojos. El viaje continúa en el interior.

En este sentido, sus series Sand y Duna son paradigmáticas. En Sand (Arena) la artista está interesada en captar la irrepetible atmósfera centelleante de la luz que reflejada en el agua, vibra urgida por la brisa, generando destellos imprevisibles al contacto con los cristales sal. Esta sensación inefable es lo que en primera instancia capta la atención del espectador que recorre cada cuadro con los ojos mientras camina despacio frente a la obra. A cada paso descubre nuevos matices: capas que emergen de la profundidad del cuadro y se emplazan en primer plano para luego, subrepticiamente, volver a desaparecer dando paso a otra ola de color.

En el caso de la seire Duna, Gelfman se inspira en Lençoìis Maranhenses, la zona desértica y parque nacional del noreste brasileño. Cautivada por este capricho natural donde convergen dunas y lluvia creando lagunas de agua dulce en medio de la zona desértica, la artista se entrega a los antojadizos ritmos visuales resultantes de la conjunción entre estas dos antípodas naturales.

En ambas series es obvia la impronta del arte óptico. En ellas, el juego con las transparencias y el efecto tornasolado que logra Gelfman a través de la superposición de diferentes capas de pinturas, disolventes y resinas es fundamental, creando esa suerte de efecto hipnótico o espejismo de estas dos series.

Al adentrarnos en la segunda sala de la Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, el tono es mucho más sobrio: los destellos de luz ceden paso a colores opacos y la noción de fluido parece refrenada por la aspereza que ahora se instala como dominancia. Los ritmos sinuosos de origen natural son reemplazados por lo que parece ser la impronta seriada de la cerca metálica. Sin embargo, el efecto creado minuciosamente por Gelfman, es el resultado de un laborioso proceso constructivo-destructivo donde la secuela abrasiva es esencial.

El sentido procesual domina toda la propuesta de Gelfman. Sus cuadros por momentos parecen tejidos. Compuestos por disímiles capas donde a la persistencia del gesto meticuloso se contrapone a la ulterior agresión. Las obras incluidas en esta sala son intervenidas con la ayuda de lijas que devoran la pintura, dejando en ocasiones al descubierto el soporte de la obra.

Para esta muestra, la artista ha incluidopor primera vez, una selección de los discos de lijar que durante años ha ido guardando. Montadas sobre papel, las esferas parecen enigmáticas constelaciones donde los rastros de pintura, óxido y granos de arena parecen dibujar paisajes cósmicos.


Janet Batet es escritora, curadora y crítica de arte. Escribe de arte para diferentes publicaciones, galerías y museos.

‘Dunas’, hasta el 2 de septiembre, en el Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17 St., Miami, FL 33199. ‘Sand’, hasta el 31 de agosto, en Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, 2630 NW 2 Ave., Miami, Fl 33127.

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