Leonard Rosenfeld
Janet in Paris, 2008, watercolor, pastel on paper, 40 x 26.375 in, 101.6 x 66.9925 cm
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Portraits and Pastels (Final Works)  In his final years, having completed his powerful, yet exhausting, Soldiers and Terrorist series, Rosenfeld, as always, was in search of something new. Turning largely to pastels, and some watercolors, a cluster of works showed the painter, sometimes dizzily, searching, looking it over, and searching again, as in Train White Hat #1, Dizzy Blue Man, and Man Between Colors. In sequence to his later Soldier pieces, he made repeating patterns, as in Squadron, White squares and rectangles, Lines. Three larger portraits, Janet in Paris, The Two Me’s and Me Painter, Painting (his last work), noteworthy for their subject matter and powerful execution, are especially poignant. Just days before his heart surgery in August 2009, during an interview at NYU Medical Center by Julie Shapiro of Downtown Express, he was asked what he wanted to do next. Initially stating, “I don’t know if I’m going to do anything next,”…but shortly after adding, “I’d like to do something very big, like the size of the wall…But I don’t know what it would be exactly.” The work, The Two Me’s had been brought to the hospital for the interview. It depicts the artist, with his likeness floating upward out of him…it was dated 2009. But after his death, it was noted that 2010 had been written in as well. One could say this speaks for itself. In so many ways he was not only innovative and provocative in his form and subject, he was also prescient. Sadly, he did not get to do the next thing.

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