Richard Sloat
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The New York Times Art section, Sunday, June 28, 1998
Excerpted from:
"Two Shows Marked by Moods from Severe to Effervescent"
by Vivien Raynor

Once Krasdale Foods had only one gallery -- at its distribution headquarters in Hunts Point in the Bronx. In the early 1990's, it acquired a suburban counterpart at company headquarters on a leafy lane hard by Route 287 westbound here [White Plains].

Organizing shows in two such different sites is a task for a Jekyll and Hyde personality: Sigmund Balka, who has filled the galleries with 118 works by 57 members of the Society of American Graphic Artists, mounting shows that are of equal merit, esthetically speaking. Still, his suburban productions tend to be brighter in color and mood.

At Hunts Point, many of the images are monochromatic, but the severity of Michael DiCerbo's prisonlike skyscrapers, each a mix of etching, aquatint, drypoint and intaglio, is balanced by the effervescence of street scenes like those etched by Richard Sloat.

Then there is Merle Perlmutter, who must be looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope, for her images of interiors are conspicuously lacking in straight lines. Perversely enough, the artist works in mezzotint, a medium normally reserved for tonal effects like those in Herman Zaage's scenes of mangrove forests. Among other exceptional black and whites are Barbara Minton's etching of trees casting shadows on flat ground, Robert Kipniss's melancholy mezzotints -- landscapes in which nothing moves or seems likely to -- and "Entangled Facial Hairs," a large wood-block print by Nicholas Sperakis that features a man, a woman and maybe a third figure (with all the flowing tresses it is hard to tell).

Clare Romano knows her way around all the techniques -- see "The Complete Printmaker" (The Free Press), which was written with her husband, John Ross, and her son, Tim. But the one she demonstrates in the show is collagraphy, which involves collage and the use of an etching press and is particularly appropriate for the artist's richly colored and textured images of the Southwest.

Compared with Ms. Romano, Michael Arike and Linda Adato are temperate colorists although the hues are light and sweet in Mr. Arike's aquatint etchings of storefronts while those in Ms. Adato's intaglios of marbled halls are quite somber.

The Krasdale viewing in Westchester is more hectic, with works deployed in the lobby, executive reception area, employee lunch room and connecting passages, not to mention a large office riddled with cubicles.

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