You might not guess that Herbert Ferber (1906–1991) was a dentist by looking at his paintings and sculptures, yet it’s not hard to see the impact of one career upon the other. His metal sculptures have twisting sharp edges that slice through space, and his ominous paintings feature large saw teeth that seem immersed in a viscous, red or yellow streaked liquid. You couldn’t call him a hobbyist. He pursued an education and practice in both careers simultaneously from the very beginning, and since he was interested in gestural, abstract sculpture decades before it could become lucrative, he needed another source of income. The pieces in this show date from the later years of his career, 1967-1979, and might not be as exciting as his earlier work. The three paintings feel too large, the five sculptures feel too small. None of this later work rewards close inspection or crackles with the excitement of the calligraphic metal reliefs he created for synagogues in the 1950s. Perhaps he needed the energy and input of that Lower Manhattan pioneering Abstract Expressionism community of which he was once a member. (Chris Miller)
Through April 27 at Valerie Carberry Gallery, 875 North Michigan.