In Harlem, the great promise of Ray Grist

At The Studio Museum in Harlem here is an exhibition devoted to the midcareer paintings, prints, and drawings of Ray Grist. These reflect the artist's involvement with Cubist and Abstract Expressionist ideas and attitudes; they also indicate he has looked closely at the more primal and mythic works produced during the past four or five years by his younger contemporaries.

I suspect, however, that Grist is most concerned about plumbing the depths of his own identity, and in giving pictorial form to what he finds. Given the depth , range, and complexity of his perceptions as revealed through his work, that cannot be a simple task - especially as he will allow no shortcuts or oversimplifications. In this regard, his most successful pieces - his prints - are also the least significant, while the least accomplished of his paintings hint at the greatest depths.

It is obvious from all this that something very real and valuable is going on here, and that it could come into focus at any moment.

At The Studio Musuem in Harlem through Sept. 9.

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