Art: Moments of Loneliness

When Ruth Gikow decided to study art at Manhattan's Cooper Union 29 years ago, she had one goal in mind: "I wanted to do commercial art and make a lot of money so I could have a French maid." Today, Ruth Gikow, who is the wife of Painter Jack Levine, still has no French maid, but the sacrifice has not been in vain. Last week 26 of her paintings were on view at Manhattan's Nordness Gallery—forthrightly figurative works that mostly seemed as personal as pages from a diary.

Ruth Gikow is the daughter of a...

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