Philadelphia Inquirer - Art [September 14, 2007]
Cries and Whispers, by Edith Newhall


     Different as their paintings are, Robert Goodman and Hiro Sakaguchi are well paired at Seraphin Gallery. Goodman is a color-infatuated abstractionist whose paintings suggest jarring ruptures, spinning out of control, turmoil; Sakaguchi's faintly colored representational paintings are clearly tied to his memories and experiences of his native Nagano, Japan, but are as elusive as dreams.

     Together, Goodman and Sakaguchi give you a pretty good idea why young artists in the digital age are putting paint to canvas: it's one of the last outlets for visceral personal expression that leaves its creators some privacy.
The first time I saw Goodman's work, a year ago in a group show here, I thought his raw, jagged compositions and psychedelic colors were an attempt at deliberately "bad" painting that didn't succeed. Now that I've seen an entire room of his works, though, I realize they are much more stylish and thought-out than that. Together, they create a contagious rapturous energy. The two large canvases in this show, Collapse and Electrical Storm, display Goodman's abstracted Mad Max-like dramas in a way the smaller works can't quite muster.

     Sakaguchi, whose small paintings are tucked into the gallery's back room, is a quiet, compelling storyteller, whose images of a hiker, planes and ships seemed arranged through a kaleidescope. They're the perfect foil to Goodman's hyperkinetic visions of angst.


artblog - October 1, 2007
Goodman and Sakaguchi at Seraphin,
by Libby Rosof

Robert Goodman, Zzip, 2007
30 x 30 inches, oil, acrylic and spraypaint on canvas

Robert Goodman and Hiro Sakaguchi may seem like a surprising pairing. Their paint application and their content are so far apart. But perhaps that's why the two of them at Seraphin Gallery, until Oct. 7, do not step on one another's toes.


Zzip detail

Robert Goodman: Night Vision is painting as fireworks. The abstractions have a feeling of spontaneity and the look of the urban, neon landscape captured by a camera in motion. They have depth and space, they have light, they have detail and they have a marvelous sense of juicy painterly marksmanship. Although they have the motion I associate de Kooning's and Pollock's abstract expressionism, they are cooler. Goodman manages to mix beauty and edginess all at once!
Goodman is a Tyler MFA. He had a Fleisher Challenge exhibition last year.


Hiro Sakaguchi, Wind, Flower and Farewell #2, 2006
21 x 16, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
As juicy, abstract and explosive as Goodman's work is, the work in Hiro Sakaguchi: Traveler's Tale is personal and low-key, Sakaguchi continues his dreamy, washy drawings on canvas, telling over and over again the story of his emigration from Japan to the U.S., using repeating motifs. Sakaguchi uses a fragile unpainterliness that's closer to the watercolor-and-ink travel journal tradition than to works on canvas - a coating of Japanese brush traditions atop the coarse canvas. But unlike the work in travel journals, the narrative here is less of discovery than of a sense of loss.

Sakaguchi was a 2004 Fleisher Challenge winner with an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

The walls rained little red dots for both of these exhibits!


Seraphin Gallery  l  Contemporary Philadelphia Art Gallery and Art Consultant 
1108 Pine St.  l  215-923-7000  l