Art Digest, 1956

Successfully displacing the Automat and Rikers as places where the esthetic elite meet to eat, the Caffe Rienzi (107 MacDougal Street) is also becoming a Village art emporium. As part of a new program designed to offer proper fare to its art-oriented clientele, the Rienzi is holding large group and one-man shows of contemporary American art.

During the day the Rienzi offers running chess games, verbal badinage and continuous coffee drinking. In the evening, the café overflows with a heterogeneous crowd ranging from beret-wearing, guitar-strumming bohemians to proper-uptowners “doing the Village."

For November, the Rienzi exhibition comprises work by more than 20 painters, all more or less avant-garde. Notable items are Gandy Brodie’s compelling crucifixion, an expressionist image of erocious intensity; Jan Muller’s somber abstract landscape, and Leatrice Rose’s bold semi-abstract studio interior. Other noteworthy works are by Arthur Tieger, Jan Loftys, Led Major, Alfred Skondovitch, Jan Yoors and Ann Tabachnik.