Ralph Wickiser’s abstract paintings from the 1950s are exemplary of that period of modernist American art; yet they also look astonishingly fresh. His great love of both materials and the act of painting is evident in the meticulously considered treatment of his surfaces, in their textures, in the balance, range and subtle modulation of colors — the elegant blues, reds shading to rose, greens, yellows, the orange burnished gold — and in many layers of glazes that give his colors their intensity and resonance, their depths.
His handling of the paint alternates between thin, translucent passages which the light can penetrate and rich, heavy impasto; in some instances, the paint has been fashioned into rosette-like shapes, and abstract flowering into bas-relief. He also a affixes nails, paint tubes and other painting paraphernalia to the surfaces as if to include all aspects for painting within itself.
Surface, space, color, light, brushwork are all subjects, as are the grid and the band which are the dominant structuring devices though more evident in some paintings than in others. Yet despite this phenomenological approach, the surface seems to dissolve into illusion, shimmering at the edges like a mirage.
(Lilly Wei, New York city, January 1996)
Wickiser’s works had been shown in galleries, universities, and museums throughout America including - the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum, the Oakland Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Dayton Museum, the Cincinnati Museum and the Dallas Museum.
In the past year, Wickiser has been reviewed by Art & Antiques, The Washington Post, The Georgetown Voice, The Hoya, and The Hu ngton Post, to name a few.