Jenifer Kobylarz is a young painter who bases her colorful abstractions on simple shapes of flowers and vine leaves. In this show, her second New York solo, she presents 12 large and medium sized oils featuring just a few recurring motifs. Several canvases are filled with a single stylized flower with petals painted in bold flat colors. In works such as Follow Me, the obvious reference to Warhol's silkscreened flower paintings shows how Kobylarz has skillfully contexualized her work. She keeps good company, absorbing not only the lessons of Pop and Op art, but the transcendentalism of Matisse and Klee. Now, she seems to have found her own voice. The success of the works on view in this show has much to do with the artist's careful planning and labor-intensive execution, which hopefully will not suffer as a result of increased demand, a pitfall that young artists often cannot seem to avoid.
Among the best works on view are Don't Go and Coil. The latter features a motif of leaf-like shapes that appear to spiral upward against a background of searing orange on the left and bright red on the right. Kobylarz, by means of this luminous painting, reiterates in a striking new way, the age-old story of the world's endless cycle of birth, growth, death and decay.
Jenifer Kobylarz, "Recent Paintings and Drawings," Mar. 6-Apr. 4, 1998, at Edward Thorp, 103 Prince Street, New York, N.Y. 10012
DAVID EBONY is assistant managing editor of Art in America.