Bruce Boice

  • Stephen Greene

    Stephen Greene’s show, “25 Years of Drawing: 1947–1972” at the Zierler gallery, demonstrates that Greene has mastered conventional drawing skills in enough styles to qualify as an eclectic. Roughly a quarter of the 40 drawings in the show are Renaissance-ish multiple sketches or studies on a page in pencil, sanguine, and ink representing the years 1947–51. What Barbara Rose, in a brief catalogue essay, calls paying “homage to the old masters” seems more like trying to be an Oki Master. It is not that Greene’s early drawings are simply conventional figure studies, but that his use of medium,

  • After the Quality Problem

    WHILE QUALITY ASCRIPTIONS ARE MEANINGFUL only as emotive expressions in response to an art work, they say very little about that response of the speaker to the art work. And this holds as well for expressions, such as “the painting is good,” “I like the painting,” or “the painting is interesting.” Such expressions are no more than signals of approval accomplished just as effectively by the Roman signals “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down”; but except as signals of approval these expressions say nothing, and as such, they hardly constitute discussion about art work or anyone’s response to it. To insist

  • Les Levine

    Les Levine’s Position occupied almost half of the downtown Fischbach Gallery, while selected video works, Bodyscape, an enormous aggregation of 150 photographs in six horizontal rows adding up to a full-length portrait of Levine “on its side,” and Landscape, another photographic work seemed to be there almost because a certain amount of space was left over from Position. Position is a sort of political art talent test. Photographs of windows were taken following certain rules regarding the place from which the photograph was made, such as standing as far to the right of the window as possible

  • Michael Snow

    Since Michael Snow’s reputation rests largely on his films, it is no surprise that about half of his show, “About 30 Works by Michael Snow” at the Center for Inter-American Relations, are films. I cannot comment on La Région Centrale as I haven’t yet seen it, and there isn’t much point in my writing about those films I have seen as Snow’s cinematic production has already been so thoroughly analyzed as to make my comments repetitious and naive. The rest of Snow’s art, that which more conventionally fits into a gallery situation, is not as powerful as his films but can be seen to show the same

  • Barbara Zucker

    It is difficult to know what to do with Barbara Zucker’s show at A.I.R. Common to the four pieces in her show was what could be called a flat blob of latex, which in one case wasn’t latex at all, but plaster. Two of the works related to painting, if for no other reason than by being on the wall. One of them consisted of small latex blobs dispersed on a large sheet of white paper tacked to the wall; the dispersal was allover, and tufts of kapok were stuck on or stuck out of most of the latex blobs. The other work was similar but without the mediation of paper between the latex and the wall. This

  • Richard Nonas

    The difficulty in Richard Nonas’ work at 112 Greene Street is in not thinking of Carl Andre’s early work, especially the wooden pieces stacked in various ways, and Nonas seems to be after the same physical “thereness.” Nonas’ works tend to stay simpler than some of Andre’s similar works, which at times and within a narrow context, became somewhat Baroque. There are 13 works on the floor of the gallery, and most of them have the same general arrangements of lumber, the size of which varies with different works. Two pieces of lumber of the same size are placed on the floor parallel to each other;

  • Edward Avedisian

    Not too long ago, to talk about painting was to talk about the great issues of painting, and then, there may have been something to those great issues, but if so, there doesn’t seem to be much to them now. Generally, to speak of the great issues now seems not so much a lapsing into poetry as into metaphysics. The point is not to wage a monthly assault on formalist painting, for the assaults were made quite some time ago, but remarkably, formalist paintings continue to be churned out, which is admirable if you look at it one way, and ridiculous looking at it another way. Edward Avedisian’s

  • John Hoyland

    John Hoyland’s paintings at Emmerich downtown are subject to the same nonproblems, but there does seem to be some evidence of thought in his work, and his work can be considered as something of a commentary on these nonproblems. Basically, three sorts of things go on in Hoyland’s new paintings: staining and drip-staining which forms the ground of each painting; squeegeed rectangular shapes of thick acrylic; and thick blobs of acrylic which appear to have been splattered against the canvas. Within this methodology, there are, at the extremes, two kinds of paintings. Some of the paintings are an

  • Gary Bower

    Hoyland’s show consisted of two kinds of paintings only when considered in terms of the extremes, but there was a middle ground between the extremes so that his paintings could be seen as a progression. However, Gary Bower’s show at O.K. Harris was a case of excluded middle and consisted of two distinct kinds of paintings, which are supposedly not chronologically distinct. Four of Bower’s paintings were a continuation of his earlier work based on horizontal-vertical-diagonal grid structures; but the new grid paintings are made of layers of gestural brushstrokes within which the grid of masking

  • Robert Duran

    Robert Duran seems to be in a similar situation though there is no dominating Caro equivalent in painting. Duran showed six large new paintings at Bykert in bright juicy fruit colors (whatever that means, take it literally rather than as the color of chewing gum) and six watercolors which are pale prototypes of the paintings. In Duran’s paintings, a layer of watery acrylic is soaked into the canvas as a pastel colored ground; over this ground, irregular sort-of-geometric shapes are painted in watery acrylic so that as color-shapes touch, each bleeds into the other causing areas of “dirty” color

  • Vincent Inconiglios

    Two of the six paintings shown by Vincent Inconiglios at West Broadway looked like paintings of Carl Andre’s metal plates. The depicted metal plates have the same scrubbed, spill-stained, and generally roughed-up look as Andre’s plates. In the larger painting, the whole is formed of 18 2’-square panels, each of which is quartered by depiction so that the module appears to be a one foot square. lnconiglios’ other paintings are also grid structured, two in windowlike configurations and two others in irregular diagonal grids. The grids, in the latter case, are formed by painting or rubbing graphite

  • Susan Lewis Williams

    Susan Lewis Williams showed two works at A.I.R. under the general heading “Sculpture Recycled.” Within this general heading “Watermill (a summer experience recycled)” is comprised of about 100 glass quart jars stacked pyramid fashion against a wall; the wall is papered with reproductions of a photograph of the jars stacked similarly against another wall. In the photographs, nearly all the jars are filled with sand, but in the physical situation, about half the jars are partially filled with sand while nine jars contain a folded piece of paper. In a brief statement accompanying the piece, Williams