A KLIMT REDUXION * NEUE GALLERY: New York, NY

Took the 6 uptown from an early morning meeting to pay my visitations to the Golden Adele the day she premiered at the Neue. The line not as long as expected. A German film crew was busy interviewing standees. Hey. I was camera-ready…but skipped over. The gallery holding the goods was securely sectioned off by Big Security. But getting near The Girl was a chore. Having trained as a painter, I like to get up close and peruse the technique. No such luck. The film crew had made their way inside and planted their tripod and camera right near the painting. The Times photog, a petite woman with cameras draped across her chest, snapped posterity from the top of a folding stool that got her to just above normal height. So I walked around and butted my head into the corner of the painting, ever vigilant of the eyes behind me. I'm afraid that I'm not as gushing over the Gold Standard painting as many others seem to be. Klimt was a high roguish technician, who was about a half century behind the rest of his Euro-art world. The first rendering of Adele is a too-perfect licking of Impressionism...and Adele herself. (Word is they were amorous.) The use of gold was clever, but not much more than an antic, antique idea. If you get up close to the painting (as I kept trying to do) you can see that - while the rest of the Western art world was deep into changing our norms of seeing, through interpretive, spatial color (a la Matisse) and wild, shamanistic brushstroking embedded into the destruction of the picture plane (Picasso's evolutionary Iberian/African dialogues with Cezanne) - Gustav was very deliberately sculpting (literally) little designs into Adele's dress, like some kind of caftan-clad Viennese fashion-decorator from Pharaonic Thebes. (My favorite oro-flecked Klimt was his great narrative use of the gold in the Zeusian wet dream titled "Danae.") Good Gustav's later work (Adele II) is, to my taste, more organic and painterly…and less bombastic. But listen, any woman who can get a guy to spring a hundred and thirty five mil on her – in one shot – has got to give Paris Hilton (our nascent century’s multi-millionaire Love Motel) a big run for HER money. As the Oil Barons might say, “Go git you some Adele before she ups and runs off.” The Deli Rama