Jacqueline Draeger has cut and slashed herself a niche among local ranks of Neo-Expressionists, but she has done it with abstraction and with a muscular use of materials. She now makes painted metal-and-wood wall constructions that sit at the juncture of sculpture and painting. The latest batch looks quite mature: richly colored, densely surfaced and so well designed that the work seems a trifle suspect in this age of slapped-together celebrity.
Draeger's leitmotif is a spiky leaf or flame shape, roughly cut of aluminum and attached to shaggy frames or interiors furiously painted and scratched with jagged gestures. Her most prevalent format plays with the concept of framed pictures as illusionistic windows. "Images" framed are only gestural fields--predominantly red, black and silver--that occasionally suggest landscape as they echo surrounding turbulence. One particularly strong piece, "Angel on Alvarado," incorporates a plaster cornice and thus tips its hat to Post-Modernism's infatuation with historical pastiches. When she breaks with the framing device and jagged gestures, her metal and weathered wood work recalls Rauschenberg's early "combines."