As every fan knows, hockey is speed, sticks, hitting, noise, congested arenas. At first glance the paintings by Richard Estes on this and the following pages offer an altogether different concept. All is cool, quiet, passive, strangely devoid of movement. But as Estes has demonstrated to the art world, he has an unusual knack of involving the viewer in his compositions ("There is a waiting line for his work 45 to 50 deep," says New York's Allan Stone Gallery). Each muted scene here is, on closer inspection, pregnant with life. There will be a queue at the ticket window, a rush of action on the now-vacant ice. What Estes deliberately has left out of the picture one cannot help painting in.

There is an eerie quality in Estes' peephole depiction of the ice from an empty arena corridor.

But who is watching the set? Again Estes sets forth a tantalizing scene that must be completed in the viewer's mind.

FOUR ILLUSTRATIONSRICHARD ESTES