Three Contrasting Worlds of Pimsler, MacDonald and Brooks

Three artists with distinctly different approaches to subject matter were featured in recent exhibitions at Montserrat Gallery, 584 Broadway. All, however, sustained our interest through their ability to create singularly compelling images.

 Currently a Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and former president of the Society of Illustrators, Alvin J. Pimsler is known internationally fo his fashion illustrations, which have appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, and numerous other publications. However, His work is also very much at home in and art gallery, since it comes out of the lineage of Egon Schiele, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other artists for a whole line reigns supreme.

 Beautiful women in various stages of undress and dishabille and Pimsler’s forte. Working from life in line and watercolor wash, he creates drawings that combine elegance with probing psychological insight, unashamed eroticism with emotional depth and passion.

 What invaribly comes across in Pimsler’s love and sympathy for the women he draws. He obviously respects them and celebrates their individuality by virtue of his brilliant draftsmanship. While their bodies are bare and always attractive, it is finally their humanity that seduces us.

GALLERY&STUDIO February/March 2003

Gort and Alvin Pimsler: Two Approaches to the Figure

Two figurative artists with a vastly differing styles were seen in recent months in soho at Montserrat Gallery, 584 Broadway. However, the draftsman Alvin Pimsler and the painter known as Gort share in common and impressive command of human anatomy a;nd the ability to employ it effectively for their individual expressive purposes.

 Alvin Pimsler, a former president of the Society of Illustrators, bridges the gap between fine and commercial art. Internationally known both for his fashion drawings for Saks Fith Avenue and The New York Times, Pimsler reinvigorates the graphic tradition of Egon Shiele and Toulouse Lautrec.

 In and earlier exhibition at Montserrat Gallery, Pimsler (whose work can be viewed in the gallery salon exhibition year round) showed a series of mixed media drawings on paper of which the subject was beauriful woman in various stages of dress and undress. His rhythmic line evoked womanly sensuality with a sinuous flair. In his recent exhibition in the same venue, Pimsler showed a group of portraits on canvas demonstrating that drawing is the foundation on which all of his work rests, regardless of medium.

 Leaving large areas of the primed canvas bare, Pimsler creates a sense of spontaneity and freshness that can oly be compared to certain aspects of Asian painting. Indeed, his habit of signing his works with initials enclosed in a red rectangle resembling a seal or “chop” appears to be an acknowledgment that, like Lautrec and others, he has learned much from Easter spatial strategies.  However, Pimsler’s approach to portraiture is quintessentially western and contemporary. He captures the character of the sitter in bold strokes, delineating their features with a flowing oil pastel line augmented by oil washes, the sense of spontaneity enhanced by occasional drips that lent his compositions an almost abstract expressionist velocity.

Pimsler appears to select models with a natural theatrical flair that he accentuates with his elegant draftsmanship. His sitters look as though they are used to striking poses and projecting attitudes, and Pimsler appears to delight in capturing them through his mastery of line, color, and gesture.

-Byron Coleman                      Gallery&Studio

june/july/august 2004