Critique and Reviews


Financial Times, London
Tuesday March 14th, 1995
Arts Review by William Packer

Jenny Okun from California is an artist whose medium until now has been photography, and whose work still remains founded in photographic imagery. Her immediate interest is in architectural detail, and in particular the interior structures of roofs, windows and surface reflections to be found in modern high-tech buildings.

Her formal interest, however, is rather less direct, for she then repeatedly overlays this primary material, building it up into a spatial image of almost Piranesian complexity, yet unspecific and abstracted. But there is nothing of that master’s doom-laden theatricality, her images ever as cool and elegant in conception as in expression.

She continues in part to work directly with the photographic print, but latterly she has also been developing her imagery in both graphic and sculptural terms. She takes the photographic image and reduces it to simple linear structure, drawn directly upon the wall. She reduces it to flat tone and colour, which abstracted image is then realized as a computer-generated print, using the latest Iris water-jet print technology. Simplest of all, she takes an element of the linear images as silhouette for multiple sculpture, cut from inch-thick plastic, to which she adds color and further selective detail.

The sense is of an accomplished artist at a critical transitional moment in her career, responding creatively to new formal and technical opportunities. The interplay between photography, drawing and print, particularly in relation to this new Iris technology, with its extraordinary refinement of effect is intriguing.

Jenny Okun: Architectonics; Rebecca Hossack Gallery Fitzrovia, 35 Windmill Street London W1 until April 1.