Pictures in Crayon and Ink (1953)
It is high time that the "School of New York"–today's abstract expressionists–found an artist to buffoon it; and Dwight Ripley, whose drawings are at the de Nagy Gallery, is well fitted for that role. These are essentially indescribable, but they will allow the spectator a good deal of sophisticated fun. –Stuart Preston, The New York Times, Jan 23, 1954, 11.
Dwight Ripley, who is also a botanist, shows another group of his whimsical pictures. The black-and-whites, done with brush and pen, make capital of the absurdity of combining loosely done abstract forms with compulsively tight, intricately patterned designs. Everything in the show is premeditatedly awry. Color is off key, simplicity too simple, elegance too elegant. Modern styles are slyly parodied, though Ripley does not relinquish his own personal view of the world. –Kermit I. Lansner, Art News 52, January 1954, 65.
Among the whimsical, and sometimes satirical compositions here are a number of topical puns on familiar New York phenomena. The Hotel Chelsea, for example, becomes for Ripley a composition of varied squares–almost, but not quite, in the Mondrian manner, for incongruously dangling from behind one of the rectangles are a pair of human legs. Among the other jeux d'esprit here are a motel in a Midwestern wilderness, fashioned like a Moroccan castle; a festooned Turkish harbor; the end of an umbrellaed garden party, and a collage made up of three-cent stamps, representing Manhattan. –Dore Ashton, Art Digest 28, January 15, 1954, 27.