Paul Resika: Self-Portraits, 1946-2021
January 14 – February 25, 2022
Bookstein Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of self-portraits by Paul Resika. This is the artist’s twelfth show with Bookstein Projects.
Paul Resika: Self-Portraits, 1946-2021 will include both self-portrait paintings and works on paper executed over the last eight decades. In her catalog essay for the show, Hayden Herrera writes:
"[Paul Resika’s self-portraits] portray a man looking at and painting himself between the ages of eighteen and ninety-three. In the earliest self-portrait, 1946, the adolescent Resika bristles with energy. His huge, dark, Pantocrator eyes bore into the viewer as if we, the onlooker, might hold the secret to life (or as if he himself holds that secret and doesn’t want us to mess with it). Seventy-five years later, in Double-Portrait, 2021, the white-haired, white-bearded Resika, accompanied by his wife, my sister Blair, the artist’s youthful energy has waned. Now the energy is not in the artist’s figure, but rather in the painting’s colors, textures, and shapes. Just as the semi-abstract boats in Resika’s rollicking boat paintings float in a sea of blue (or green or yellow or orange), in this double portrait, Blair and Paul’s highly simplified forms float in a sea of red-orange. This image of Paul at ninety-three has none of the assertive physical presence seen in earlier paintings. Instead, he has a quiet inner-looking energy that contemplates the present and reflects upon the past." 
Taken as a whole, this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see the breadth of the artist’s entire career, through the theme of self-portraiture. A full-color catalog with an essay by Hayden Herrera has been published on occasion of the exhibition.
Bookstein Projects is also pleased to announce that the New York Studio School will mount a concurrent exhibition entitled Paul Resika: Allegory (San Nicola di Bari). This series of paintings is derived from an obscure engraving made of a panel from an altarpiece predella (ca. 1437) by Fra Angelico on the life of St Nicola of Bari. Ranging from somewhat-faithful reinterpretations to sparse abstractions painted in fantastic colors, this series offers a range of styles that Resika has made all his own. The show will be on view from January 31 – March 6, 2022. A full-color catalog with essays by Christopher Busa and John Yau is available. For more information please visit: www.nyss.org.
Paul Resika (b. 1928, New York, New York) studied under Hans Hofmann as a teenager in New York and Provincetown before departing for Venice and Rome in 1950 to study the old masters. After casting aside Hofmann’s abstract principles, his Italian palette turned sober and descriptive. Upon his return to the United States, Resika devoted himself increasingly to the exploration of light and color, and the synthesis of abstraction and representation. Over his eight decade-long career, Resika has exhibited at the Peridot Gallery, Graham Modern, Long Point Gallery, Provincetown, Berta Walker Gallery, Provincetown, Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, New York. Resika splits his time between New York and Truro, Massachusetts.
Resika’s work is included in the collections of the Hood Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Addison Gallery among numerous others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984) and has been elected Academician at the National Academy of Design (1978) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994).
Paul Resika: Self-Portraits, 1946-2021 will be on view from January 14 – February 25, 2022. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm or by appointment. To make an appointment or for additional information and/or visual materials, please contact the gallery at (212) 750-0949 or by email at email@example.com.
 Herrera, Hayden, “Portrait of the Artist in Search of Himself,” Self-Portraits, 1946-2021. North Truro, MA: High Head Press, 2021. p. 3.