James A Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA
Seldom are we privy to a less earthbound vision of bronze sculpture then with Jonathan Hertzel's eight freestanding pieces in the Michener art museum sculpture garden. Yet each of these gnarled and twisting sinewy shapes insists on a physical uniqueness.
Each has something like a physique, a physical tone, by which we can remember it. Their fluid movements make them seem like expressions of the human figure rather than mir objects.
Such works by this Chalfont sculptor grow on one slowly, and the outdoors is the ideal environment in which to see them. In their favor, too, they have no optimum viewing distance. With Hertzel's pieces, the distant view, and the near surface are equally interesting because his sculptures were fashion for complex interaction not for impact.
Building and modeling these “whirling dervishes” give the work an uncommon texture and minuscule incidents of such textures are a microcosm of a larger pictorial events.
If there's something Gothic about Hertzel's sculptures, perhaps it's because, by their seeming vitality, they won't let us forget we live in an increasingly automated society.
Victoria Donahue of the Philadelphia inquirer. 4/24/2005