JOHN RUSSELL: CHIEF ART CRITIC, NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 9, 1981
"It is not every day that an artist of stature makes his debut in New York at the age of 87."
AMEI WALLACH: ART CRITIC, 1981
"Through the alchemy of shapes and colors, Glankoff seeks to make the intangible visible."
"His purest abstractions have far more in common with the color-field stillness of Rothko and Gottlieb than they do with the action-packed frenzy of Pollack and de Kooning. His circles tend to shimmer and float in the center of a resonating field."
JOHN RUSSELL: CHIEF ART CRITIC, NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 26, 1984
"Sam Glankoff was as secretive as he was gifted….when it came to the ancient craft of digging an image out of a solid block of wood he was one of the more doughty of our century's performers. We would have to go to German Expressionism in its heyday to find someone with quite his density of statement, whether in still life or in the portrayal of the human body."
MARILYN KUSHNER: ART HISTORIAN, ZIMMERLI MUSEUM EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, SEPTEMBER 1984
"His vivid imagery, his highly personal system of signs and symbols stretching toward eternity and his layered backgrounds of resonating color accomplished by this unique method of "print-painting", all give Glankoff a unique place in the history of contemporary art."
MARILYN KUSHNER; CURATOR, THE MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM, 1990
"Glankoff’s work speaks to an inner spirituality as well as a technical mastery that are unique achievements in the history of art."
SAM HUNTER: ART HISTORIAN, ZIMMERLI MUSEUM EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, SEPTEMBER 1984
"His miniaturized and personalized system of signs recalls Paul Klee's universe, though his resonating color grounds carry implications of immensity. Glankoff at his best achieves this intimacy even while building his richly layered color grounds to suggest an expansion to infinity, much like the luminous atmospheric space of Rothkos' color fields. "
JEFFREY WECHSLER: ASS. DIRECTOR, JANE VOORHEES ZIMMERLI MUSEUM, SEPTEMBER 15, 1984
"The way Glankoff worked is essentially a combination of his original woodcut, the monotype and painting. " Print-Painting" is really an invention of Glankoff's. And it's rather remarkable that in the late twentieth century an artist could really come up with an entirely new technique. Certainly it was based on other techniques. But it had specific qualities and characteristics which Glankoff, through his great experience with the medium, realized had to come together in an entirely new form."
"Although Glankoff was quite proficient as draftsman and painter, he focused on printmaking as the ideal method to create his desired imagery and visual effects. His intensive experimentation with the transfer medium of printmaking, and his ingenuity in devising variations on existing methods, led him from simple woodcuts in the 1920s to the large multi-paneled pieces made between 1970 and 1982"
LAWRENCE CAMPBELL: ART CRITIC, ART HISTORIAN ART IN AMERICA, JUNE, 1985
"Although Sam Glankoff was one of America's most accomplished printmakers, he was almost unknown when he died in 1982. If it had not been for his first and only one-man show at the Graham Gallery a few months before his death, he would not have been known at all."
"To my mind, the strongest, most intriguing aspect of Glankoff's print-paintings is the quality of the color, which varies from bright and intense to a mysterious luminosity like the light of the moon shining on the wall of a cave."
ALAN G. ARTNER: ART CRITIC CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1987
”Glankoff’s work - completed for the most part during the 1970s - does not reflect a specific period. It could have been done by a new young colorist or a veteran Abstract Expressionist and would have been radiant either way….Glankoff devoted a decade to the development of his process and knew its capabilities. One feels he got exactly what he wanted from it. The impact is that brilliant.”
TIM FOLEY: TILDEN FOLEY GALLERY, FEBRUARY 1989
"The recognition which the work of Sam Glankoff is receiving attests to the compelling beauty of the imagery. His work has found its unique place at the center of the tradition of gestural abstraction and today is being given a place in American art history of the 20th century."
ROGER GREEN: ART CRITIC THE TIMES-PICAYUNE, MARCH 2, 1989
"An impression of timelessness emanates from Glankoff's works, which seem as fresh and provocative as today, yet as old as the dawn of consciousness."
ALISTAIR GORDON: ART CRITIC NEW YORK NEWSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1991
"Despite its expressionist origins, there is nothing rushed about Glankoff's work; it seems more as if it emerged gradually over the years with a sense of duration and quiet resolution. There are echoes here of primitive art, abstract expressionism, early cubism, and the sacred imagery of Tantric art. The detached sense of spiritual space recalls something of Rothko and Gottlieb."
EDWARD GOMEZ: ART CRITIC, ART AND ANTIQUES, FEBRUARY 1996
"Meanwhile, whole bodies of remarkable work have remained relatively unknown for decades. Consider Sam Glankoff's unusual and prolific output of woodcuts and large multi-paneled paintings on Japanese paper. This enigmatic artist died only a few months after his first solo gallery exhibition at the age of eighty-seven. Glankoff lived and worked outside the mainstream through all the major periods of American modernism. He had participated only reluctantly in Whitney Studio Club shows during the 1920s and after 1928 he chose not to exhibit his work at all…. Glankoff's own reclusiveness, helped obscure his art to all but a few close associates until after his death. Today it is coming to light and finding a unique place at the center of the tradition of gestural abstraction."
STEPHEN POLCARI: ART HISTORIAN/ AUTHOR, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM AND THE MODERN EXPERIENCE; CONVERSATION FEBRUARY 27, 1997
"His language is the language of the abstract expressionists, an iconic and abstract archaic language of the mid-century between the wars. This is American, this is profoundly de-materialized spirituality…through monumental form and color…this is an artist who has been out there for all these years, whose work is fascinating, who [is a] profound human being, [a] moving human being, whose art is moving and we don't know anything about him yet."
Color, it is not normal color. It is this color that has depth, it's not on the surface. There are many layers to it, there are many spaces in it, and that is a transcription of the idea of emotional and spiritual depth… Color that allows a darkness within itself. A moving from light to dark is a much more variable, much more emotional color, and that's in his work….changing the color changes the effect and changes the emotional valence it is pitched at. It's pitch. And he has a pitch for this that's extraordinary.
They are very elegant, the colors are elegant, but the forms here are often rough, they have a sort of brutal quality, which is intentional….It's sensuality and it's life giving. That's the point. And even single figures by themselves convey that. And that's where the color comes in….[It] is a very symbolic, emotional, sensuous idiom....It's radiating. These are exquisite.
He's not a second generation Abstract Expressionist. He's first generation….He's doing iconic, the archaic, and that ties into all of the culture of the first generation not the second generation…
The issue is this, these archaic symbols of profound feelings. I hesitate to use the word universal, it's in disrepute now-a-days, but actually it's a shared humanity and an attempt to share it with humanity … They are not about the Self, they are about this larger Self, a very personal and intimate expression through very delicate color, very personalized form.
This is American, this is profoundly de-materialized spirituality. Through monumental form and [rough] color. But the color means something. Color is light, in the religious sense and light in its 20th century term - color, is a very traditional religious feeling. So on the one hand you have Zen and on the other hand you branch into the color field artists, who are very much like this.
Truth of the matter is, these are Paintings. They are big in Size. They give you a sense of big Scale, of Power. That's what's important. They're Paintings…Sam's work is Big. Big in impact. Big in effect. That's painting…not "work on paper".
DAVID SUTHERLAND, 2005
The color and the obvious emotion so tied up in the work, just demand attention.
JIM LOPARO, ARTIST, 2013
One thing that struck me about Glankoff’s process, and everyone who wrote about it seemed to miss, including David Kiehl, is how he was able to maintain a consistent color density over multiple sheets. Alastair Gordon and Vivien Raynor touched on this point but missed the whole of it. He really demonstrated absolute color control, and yet still allowed for the spontaneity of a transparent color within a painterly process.
Furthermore, the consistency of color and stroke from sheet to sheet over 8-sheets or more, is what makes his process work. If he fails in any part of that, the end result is a muddy mess. I see it akin to Michelangelo moving left to right over years of work on the Sistine Chapel.
Color control and density are critical to the end result, and it's simply amazing to have that mastery.
STACEY B. EPSTEIN, Catalogue Essay 2015
Color is an essential component in these works. Employing mysterious lines and shapes that hover over a “softly resonating” colored ground, “the resulting image, emerging from layers of encrusted, semi-opaque pigment, appears as something that has accrued over time – ancient but still miraculously luminous.”