Nancy Ungar - Artist


Ken Oda, Montgomery Gazette, Feb. 20, 2002

  “. . . Nancy Ungar’s is an abstracted and conceptual take on the woods. In a curtained-off and darkened section of the gallery, Ungar has created an installation using tall, painted panels to suggest the verticality and clutter of the forest.             Ungar is a transplanted New Yorker,  and the installation effectively evokes a city dweller’s sense of unease with the deep woods, particularly at night. By placing the panels at odd angles and fairly close together, Ungar elicits a mild sense of claustrophobia, of being hemmed in snd having to be careful where one steps.             The clever masterstroke of the installation is the use of sheer gauze fabric panels suspended between some of the trees. Physically, they add to claustrophobia by serving as barely visible obstacles for people walking through the installation. Visually, they work like ghost images, hints of trees past, or of things seen only in the imagination.             But there is much more at work here than a city slicker’s apprehension about the forest. The artist visited lower Manhattan a few weeks after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks. Overwhelmed by what she saw, Ungar fiund her feelings bout that event seeping into her work.             . . . Beyond the darkness and the claustrophobia, there is aoso the smell. It is not the smell of deep forest, but of a burned-out fire. It is the artist recreating in small measure the awful air she encountered at a still smoldering ground zero last fall”  



David Tannous, Montgomery Gazette, May 10, 2000

“The work is surprising, powerful, somewhat disquieting and ultimatelt persuasive. . . fizzy energy comes from both the palette and the stroke. Superbly unconcerned with a realistic depiction, the intense colors pulse with fauve-like contrasts . . . “  


Ferdinand Protzman, The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 1998 

 “‘Incoming Storm’ by Nancy Ungar’ is a gently abstracted pastel of a thunderstorm rolling into a broad, flat valley.”  


Katherine Janus Kahn, Montgomery Gazette, Nov. 20, 1996 

“Ungar’s landscape offer a transcendant retreat; it is art to live with and dream by.”


Vivian Raynor, The New York Times 

 “. . . the artist who covers the most ground is Nancy Ungar. Of her seven pastels, three were done in upstate New York, three in the West, and one in Florida. The most ambitious of them feature slate-colored roads diving down between, respectively, rust-brown hills and a canyon carved if gray rock. Ms. Ungar appreciates not only landscape but also the hazards of driving it, as in “Rainy Day in Binghamtom.” This is the kind of situation where everything is a smear, and the inly guide is the taillights of the vehicle up ahead, in this case a white van.”   

William Zimmer, The New York Times, June 16, 1991

 “. . . a rich ambiguity,”  


William Zimmer, The New York Times, April 10, 1988 

 “The drawings by Nancy Ungar of Ossining are a stern juxtaposition of narration and abstraction, somehow related.”  


Theodore F. Wolff, The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 30, 1987

“. . .  all underscore the fact that, in the right hands, even the most traditional of mediums ca do highly personal and innovative things.”  


John Russell, The New York Times, July 11, 1986

“In Nancy Ungar’s Westchester landscapes, there are intimations of a rich, well-cared-for countryside that is never going to go downhill. But there are also overtones of menace --  hints, that is to say, of the disasters that could undertake even the lushest of landscapes if technology got out of and. The mixture is a telling one.”  


Claude LeSuer, Artspeak, Nov., 1982 

 “. . . more painterly pleasures are provided by Nancy Ungar’s stridently clashing abstractions with their jarring color combinations and loosely geometric form    


Kathie Beals, Gannett Weekend Magazine, May 30, 1980

 “Somerstown Gallery in Somers may be the only commercial gallery around that can devote an entire room to a single work of conceptual art . . . (Ungar’s) concept is called :Wandering Spermies” . . . One can sit in the middle of the room on a flat white pad by a tiny square table and mediitate while a Brandenburg concerto movement picks its way delicately through the air.”  


Harold Olejarz, Arts Magazine, Jan., 1980

 “Ungar’s works refer to minimalism and evidence a kinship to the work of Eva Hesse. Ungar uses materials like rubber latex and acrylic resin to realize objects that have evocative and, at times, mysterious presences.”    


Peter Frank, The Village Voice, June 4, 1979

  “I recommend . . . Nancy Ungar’s alternately hard and soft, wry and troubling painted wall and floor objects . . . “  


Peter Frank, Womanart, Summer, 1977

 “Ungar coordinates often focal, semi-abstract imagery, with a painterly, even abstract expressionist touch. . . . (There is) a clarity and forthrightness (in) her odd, provocative pictures. . . .Ungar evokes her emblematic images with almost Pop humor and purely non-objective strength.”  


Peter Frank, Profile, Gallery Guide, Summer, 1977

“Until about a year ago Nancy Ungar remained steadfast in her devotion to the non-objective panted form. Then, all of a sudden, she found herself painting not shapes themselves, imbued with symbolic or narrative significance, but things themselves imbued with the poignancy of light and memory, space and contour. The devices and the places among which Ungar lives in northern Westchester County demanded to be rendered. Her trucks a d rockpiles are as real and unsentimental as Monet’s St. Lazare Stations or Sheeler’s grain elevators. Their own poetry, limpid and ominous by turn, finally superseded the poetry of pure color and composition. Ungar coheres to her Modernism, though, by choosing (or needing) to depict decidedly unacademic subjects.”   

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