HUNGARIAN-BORN Miklos Pogany left teaching comparative lit behind him when he started giving himself art lessons 13 years ago.

Yeats and Eliot went with him, for he alludes to them in naming his abstractions, 30 of which are being shown at the Phillips Collection.

Pogany's abstractions are a strange melange of shimmery colors, rough textures, hard black lines and random watermarks -- from a combination of printing, painting and, of all things, paper bags.

When he changed careers, he chose to specialize in the monotype, what Degas and Prendergast brought to a fine art. Pogany makes his monotypes by covering a zinc plate with paint, then putting paper (often a brown shopping bag) over the wet surface, then running the plate and paper through a press.

In Pogany's work there often towers a pointed shaft, striped with turquoise, orange, pale lemon, sometimes glowing from a black background. And from one side or another bulges a half-moon shape that gives the whole body motion.

There are also belts twisted like Mobius strips -- "circles with four corners," Pogany likes to call them, shapes that say the center will not hold. Pogany was reacting to the killing of John Lennon when he developed this theme of disintegration, in "Requiem for the Fisherman."

Pogany's monotypes are points of departure. With the skepticism of the self-schooled, he has no problem doctoring them up with pencil, oil pastels or paint, or enlarging them into collages. And he is fond of smudges, mistakes, misses and multiple brown bags. -- Pamela Kessler.

EMERGING ARTISTS: MIKLOS POGANY, PAINTINGS AND WORKS ON PAPER -- Opening Saturday at the Phillips Collection, through May 26. Miklos Pogany's Abstractions

HUNGARIAN-BORN Miklos Pogany left teaching comparative lit behind him when he started giving himself art lessons 13 years ago.

Yeats and Eliot went with him, for he alludes to them in naming his abstractions, 30 of which are being shown at the Phillips Collection.

Pogany's abstractions are a strange melange of shimmery colors, rough textures, hard black lines and random watermarks -- from a combination of printing, painting and, of all things, paper bags.

When he changed careers, he chose to specialize in the monotype, what Degas and Prendergast brought to a fine art. Pogany makes his monotypes by covering a zinc plate with paint, then putting paper (often a brown shopping bag) over the wet surface, then running the plate and paper through a press.

In Pogany's work there often towers a pointed shaft, striped with turquoise, orange, pale lemon, sometimes glowing from a black background. And from one side or another bulges a half-moon shape that gives the whole body motion.

There are also belts twisted like Mobius strips -- "circles with four corners," Pogany likes to call them, shapes that say the center will not hold. Pogany was reacting to the killing of John Lennon when he developed this theme of disintegration, in "Requiem for the Fisherman."

Pogany's monotypes are points of departure. With the skepticism of the self-schooled, he has no problem doctoring them up with pencil, oil pastels or paint, or enlarging them into collages. And he is fond of smudges, mistakes, misses and multiple brown bags.

EMERGING ARTISTS: MIKLOS POGANY, PAINTINGS AND WORKS ON PAPER -- Opening Saturday at the Phillips Collection, through May 26.