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Essie Pinsker at Las Vegas Museum:
A Major Sculptor’s Retrospective

A major "Lifetime Retrospective" by the distinguished sculptor Essie Pinsker focuses on her forty-year struggle to reconcile the human with the divine through metaphors drawn from the Bible, mythology, and the artist's inner life, at Las Vegas Art Museum, 9600 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. (Call 702-360-8000 for further information.)

Although Pinsker currently resides in Southern California, she was born and raised in New York City, and her work still evinces an urbane energy and sophistication that reveals her cosmopolitan roots. Pinsker had several other careers—fashion model, buyer, advertising executive, publicist, to name just a few—before devoting herself full-time to sculpture in the late 1970s.

In 1981 she was given a one-woman show at the Bodley Gallery on Madison Avenue, New York, and was later honored with Sculpture Awards at the Knickerbocker Artists 24th Annual Exhibition and The Metropolitan Life Art Show. In 1987, she had a solo exhibition a Vorpal Gallery in Soho, New York City, and her work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.

The present exhibition at Las Vegas Art Museum includes important selections from the six series that have dominated her career: "Early Abstract/Figurative" work in Homage to Henry Moore; The "Gordian Knot," in which interlocking geometric configurations are explored in bronze and marble; "Other Realities," inspired by her metaphysical search for meaning; "Metamorphosis," a series of pieces featuring large bulbous shapes that explore issues of transformation and enlightenment.

In the "Constrctions" series, it is the interplay of spacial rhythms and thrusting movements that intrigued her. And "Windows," a group of scale models, is designed for public squares, malls, or parks, where viewers can interact with sculpture installed on a monumental scale.

In Pinsker's "Abstract/Figurative" pieces, such as "Flight," "Homage," and "Scribe," the human image is rendered symbolic and heroic through the artist's strong formal generalizations. In her "Gordian Knot" series, particularly one powerful work in marble, she combines austere and sensual shapes to create a unique formal synthesis.

In the Beginning
"In the Beginning," Bronze, 34" x 23" x 17"

By contrast, her "Other Realities" series is characterized by expressively flowing bronze forms that appear at once powerful and ethereal. The "Metamorphosis" series is aptly named, for her forms appear to be in constant flux, their contours billowing like shapely flames.

In the more recent series, "Windows," Pinsker projects a utopian vision with stately geometric forms that expand invitingly to embrace the human presence.

Essie Pinsker moves effortlessly from one sculptural mode to the other, confident that she can place the stamp of her unique sensibility on each of them with equal authority.

This impressive retrospective exhibition stands as a fitting tribute to the ongoing career of a major sculptor whose accomplishments warrants far wider attention than it has so far received. One can only hope that a similarly inclusive survey of Essie Pinsker's work will soon be mounted in the city of her birth.

Sean Simon      

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