ABOUT BAZELON
 
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Cecile Gray graduated from Syracuse University where she won the graduate fellowship in painting. After she moved to New York, for several years she worked out of her apartment confining herself largely to woodcuts--mainly portraits of friends and animals. During this period  she was both student and teacher to herself. She was married  to the late classical composer Irwin Bazelon,
 
Bazelon began showing at the prestigious Robert Schoelkopf Gallery in Manhattan  after spending a summer on a fellowship with her husband at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, New York.  After three solo shows there, she exhibited at the Abe Sachs Gallery in Manhattan, which was subsequently purchased  by Katharina Rich Perlow with whom she showed  until 1996. Her last solo show was at the Ezair Gallery in Manhattan in 2008.

Bazelon’s work has been described as surreal, Precisionist, hard-edged, as well as elegant and dislocating. A defining aesthetic in her paintings is the stylistic manipulation of space, often using wide-angle perspective to delineate  her many images of the New York skyline, resulting in a striking series of conceptual  viewpoints. This technique also delineates New York City interiors. 
 
Author Don DeLillo, commenting on her 1988 show at the Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery in New York City, wrote: “Bazelon hints at a depth beyond the plotted geometries.  Deceptively calm, still, fixed, her work suggests a meditation of missing persons, on characters who have strayed out of the frame. The nuance is one of loss.  The balanced richness and precision of these paintings isolate themselves around an ancient grace. They help us to see more deeply.”
 
Since she focuses on painting her environment, Bazelon’s work shifts from New York cityscapes and interiors to countryscapes in the Hamptons, where she also maintains a studio. Her idiosyncratic details of architecture and perspective, even in her landscapes, distinguish her from many other artists who have mined the Hampton terrain.
 
Rarely are there people inhabiting Bazelon’s paintings, even in an ongoing series of artists in their studios. Paradoxically in these scenes it is the studio environment that is the true focus of the composition rather than the painter, who becomes a relatively small detail within its confines
 
A few years ago, however, she did a series of oversized portraits of women on circular or oval canvases.  Called “The Ages of Woman” the youngest sitter was two and the oldest was eighty. While they are exacting head portraits, they have ornamental and decorative backgrounds usually reserved for her border painting,
 
In an essay for the artist’s 2008 catalogue, Michael Kubovy, University of Virginia Psychology Professor and eminent art authority wrote, “Bazelon often tries to undermine the suspension of disbelief that is so easily triggered by realistic paintings.  She does this in two ways: by using frames and by subverting the representation…by imperfecting it…Bazelon engages in misdirection, the key to successful magic tricks.  She seduces the spectator by the appeal of both surface and subject, while ineffably violating our expectations. The result is a sense of being thrown off balance by a realistic representation of an uncanny world--but we can’t see how.”
 
Bazelon herself says, “In recent years I have done a series of refracted paintings, breaking up the large spaces into fractured forms so that the subject is recognizable but a little off kilter, as is life—a little off kilter.”