Art in Review; Rosa Loy -- Neun Wegs (Nine Ways)
Rosa Loy seems to be one of the few hot young Leipzig painters who is not a man -- a pleasant change of pace -- and the canvases in her first solo show in New York exude an easy command. Still, they bear an undue resemblance to those of the best-known artist of the Leipzig group, Neo Rauch, who happens to be her husband and studiomate. The similarities include stylized quasi-illustrational figures, retro fashions, disorienting settings and rich, complementary color schemes.
Ms. Loy's paintings center on pairs of women whose matching hair color and similar features imply that they are twins, or at least sisters. They sit or stand around, interact or don't, sometimes in the company of men or other women.
The sense of dreamy glamour and unspecified sexual tension emanating from Ms. Loy's figures has precedents in the work of Balthus, the Surrealist Leonora Carrington, the Neo-Expressionist Francesco Clemente and the postmodern Romantic Elizabeth Peyton. But the main strength of the images lies in their color and in the handling of the scenery: the big, sinewy tree in ''Heilung''; the blue house and sky visible through a window at the edge of ''T?und Klang''; the patterned carpet and wallpaper in ''Orientierung''; the daubed cherry blossoms and ochre-striped field of ''Unter der Haut.''
Only the small double portrait ''Netz,'' with its close-up of two women in front of a spider web, comes together as a painted and psychological entity. Otherwise the paintings hover between landscape and abstraction; their human component adds some sizzle but ultimately seems beside the point.
By ROBERTA SMITH