Art News
Reviews Summer 1992
page 131

Jenny Okun
Bertha Urdang


Bringing an unusual, Kaleidoscopic eye to her work, Jenny Okun has been producing photographic abstractions that are nothing short of magical. After making preliminary drawings, Okun constructs each of her architectural studies on location by advancing an extended frame in increments, with usually six overlapping images on one negative. In this recent show, the effects of Okun’s splintered images of buildings by such contemporary architects as Frank Gehry, Arata Isozaki, I.M. Pei and Richard Rogers vary from cool to dramatic.

Urban Innovations offers a marvelous geometric study of the lines and shadows of steps and balusters. Lloyds at Night (the "Lloyds" being the modernistic headquarters of Lloyds of London designed by Richard Rogers) is a rich crescendo of illuminated curves overlaid with rays of light. And Serra Broadgate, with its sections of shadowed brutalist façade against a blue sky, is probably the most boldly kaleidoscopic.

Also in this show were Okun’s sculptural abstractions of her photographic work, her newest artistic venture. These small angular pieces ( they vary in height from 10 inches to 18 inches) are mostly fashioned out of pieces of Plexiglas and painted in such candy colors as orange, yellow, blue and green, with a few motifs added in black. They don’t appear to be anything but playful explorations. But just as Okun’s photographs, over the last decade have matured and gained complexity, mystery, and power, one expects a similar evolution in her sculptural work.