LOUIS MENAND ON JAMES DINERSTEIN
The large bronze and cement sculptures James Dinerstein has been making for the last several years are astonishing fulfillments of the possibilities of their forms. They transpose three-dimensionality from geometrical into affective terms: depending on how you approach them, their aspect changes not just structurally — elegant and austere from head-on, convoluted and baroque from the side — but expressively. They are funny and sad, noble and silly, dignified and nonchalant. More than this, they push the limits of biomorphic art, for they are, fascinatingly, human and alien at the same time — works created by a Martian Henry Moore. What's best about them, though, is the sensibility they share with the most vital American art since the 1960s, which is their wonderfully balanced mix of high and low, academic and pop, and, despite their architectural gravity and complexity, their basic wit and sense of humor.
Louis Menand is widely considered one of the foremost modern scholars of American studies. The Metaphysical Club, his history of American intellectual and philosophical life in the 19th and 20th centuries, won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2002. Menand is an essayist and critic for The New Yorker magazine and a contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is currently the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard.
For a full-length catalog essay by Louis Menand on Dinerstein's work click here