Roger Kizik

At the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park,

(Originally published in The Boston Phoenix)

Roger Kizik, an artist best known for his big, bold abstract paintings, also makes drawings — with ink, colored pencil, oil crayon, pencil and watercolor, and occasional splashes of bright irridescent paint — which are smaller and more intimate in feeling and scale.

Kizik’s drawings are life studies — drawings of  the things and places that compose the fabric of the artist’s daily life. His loopy, staccato line describes boatyards and fishing boats with names like Frolic or Finast Kind, houses on the beach, or the interior of the house in New Bedford, where he lives.

Basil and Brancusi shows a book about the sculptor propped up against Kizik’s father’s saxophone. The Brancusi book is open to a page which shows a 1925 photograph of his studio, which is filled with piles of unfinished wooden sculpture; a small, high window opens onto a green and sunny day.

Kizik often draws the book he is reading or the tool he is using for fixing up his house or boat. In Shore Birds, a bird book is half-obscured by a big silvery wrench. In Adriatico, a book about a boat — with a watercolor illustration that looks like a glossy, slightly blurred photograph — rests on a nautical map. Madonna and Mixer shows an old mix-master resting on a copy of Interview magazine that’s lying on an old wooden chair in the corner of a room with a bright yellow floor.

Kizik’s drawings have a jittery, claustrophobic feeling that reminded me at times of Van Gogh. The things in his drawings press in on him; they cluster around him, rich with hidden correspondences and secret messages, composing his life.

by Rebecca Nemser for

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