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La Cienega Area

Born to the Rothschild banking family, Jacqueline Piatigorsky turned an elite but brutal childhood into a Cinderella ending, marrying cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and becoming a mother, pilot, tennis champion, and sculptor.

At 76, she has her second L.A. show, a collection of good-sized polished-to-a-sheen marble and alabaster sculptures of birds and non-representational, fluid knots that make allusions to physical or psychological states. “Withdrawn” is a tight alabaster wave that coils into itself and “Infinity” is a graceful helix.

At best, the works are vaguely reminiscent of the naturalistic abstraction of Brancusi. They have some of his tactile thrust, with curves and planes arching into the elongated neck of swan or a sensual puzzle of contours in “Tennis Player.”

Also included are bust portraits of the artist’s formidable husband, his characteristic broad brow abstracted into sharp angled edges. Piatigorsky is less effective in the realism of the portraits, which come off as slightly stiff, severe and crude. Many may find Piatigorsky’s content--ducks, kiwis--unchallenging, but what is certain is that she is no wealthy dilettante dabbling in sculpture. The works bespeak serious study and a tenacious passion for the objects and concepts of art. (Heritage Gallery, 718 N. La Cienega Blvd., to Oct. 29).

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