art review: Blurring The Lines at the Dorsch Gallery

If Monet had studied Japanese calligraphy, his paintings might be similar to those of Franklin Einspruch, whose works are currently at the Dorsch Gallery in the Design District. Unobtrusive and unmarked in the odd combo of art galleries and desecrate warehouses in the area, the space is tricky to find. Once inside though, prepare to be transported to a singular place that recalls only New York’s Fischbach Gallery. Einspruch’s paintings meld impressionism’s use of color to define shape and ideas representative of Japanese calligraphy.

Entitled Presence, this solo exhibit consists of 25 paintings, ranging in size from 11″x14″ to 78″x 42″, and one sculpture. “I paint very quickly,” says Einspruch. “What I do has to do with an idea about gesture that I have, and also a particular kind of Asian art where the emphasis is not on the quantity of labor but the quality of mind that was brought to it.”

Displaying rash, aggressive figures and nudes, all the paintings contain such volume of paint that they put into question the division of craft between painting and sculpture. His “January Self Portrait,” an acrylic on canvas, portrays a figure, though the body is represented not by lines but by areas of color. Large masses of paint have been shoved across the canvas with a palette knife and with fingers, creating broad strokes of precise color to indicate the subject and its shadows. It is left to the viewer to ascribe a common understanding of lines and form.

Even though there is no drawing here, we all know what is indicated. For instance, the background has been painted gray with wide strokes that overlap the foreground. In a painting without lines, it is here, where the colors meet, that the shape of the subject is defined. The savage, untamed composition sets these paintings in motion and gives them an inexorable feel of pure impulsivity.

“The painting is held up by areas of color coming together without that division of line between them,” says Einspruch.

Furthermore, “Double Portrait of M.S.” represents a seated subject and is more figurative than the first: the lines define the shape of a chair, yet the figure and the mirror in front of which the subject is seated are defined by the lines created by the abutting of color. Where the shape of the body is not painted figuratively, the artist has an obvious knowledge of anatomy so that the seeming splotches convey precisely the figure’s shape.

Einspruch teaches at the Art Institute/International Fine Arts College, in Miami, and received his MFA from the University of Miami. Check out his studio at Art Center South Florida on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

Presence is shown through March 8th at the Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th Street, Miami. Call 305-576-1278 for more info.

James Cohen can be reached at

February 11, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

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