Dennis Adrian

  • Alex Katz

    At the Fischbach Gallery Alex Katz has a small show of two tabletops of his cutouts. These are figures which might have been cut out of some larger painting. Mounted to stand freely, they good-naturedly tease the viewer on the point of apparent volume in painting. It is perfectly obvious that they are flat, first because successful illusionism in painting, even trompe l’oeil never really aims at making us mistake the painted thing for its actual counterpart, and secondly because the irregular contour of the cutouts clearly exists only in one plane. Katz’s sportiveness comes in that he paints

  • George Ortman

    George Ortman’s current show at the Howard Wise Gallery discards, in several examples, the regular rectangular format he had used exclusively in the past in favor of a fat H-shaped layout within which to dispose his carefully related geometric shapes. In these, and in a number of the rectangular pieces too, he uses a mixture of painted and aluminum forms, introducing a dully reflective element into his compositions.

    Ortman’s formal vocabulary here is what we have come to know in the past, that is, a variety of precise, and usually perfectly regular geometric shapes which are fitted together and

  • Red Grooms

    Red Grooms’s current manifestation at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery consists of a hilarious movie, Fat Feet, the props and whatnot for this flick, and some not really nostalgic evocations of past filmdom luminaries. These last are either big gouaches, some of which are freely adapted from period photographs, and carpentered and painted tableaux and wall pieces, layered and articulated in a way which produces strange analogues to the grainy still or contrasty close-up. Grooms’s interest in his theme, the Adamic era of movie production, is not the saccharine campy retrospection pandered to in

  • “The Nude—Now”

    The January show at Allan Frumkin Gallery is a strange kind of survey called “The Nude—Now,” made up of a painting or two by fifteen contemporary American artists, most of them youngish and of some reputation. The extremes of age and fame are, respectively, de Kooning, who has a following in these parts, and Johann Sellenraad, who I believe here shows in New York for the first time. The point of the show is not too easy to divine if one looks for some unity beyond simply that of the subject. A goodly number of the artists represented do not concentrate on the nude as a theme in their production,

  • William Giles

    William Giles’s debut with the Allan Frumkin Gallery is surely one of the strongest shows of the New York winter season. In his offering of twenty-four canvases finished over the past year, Giles presents a particular kind of abstract invention that felicitously harmonizes two distinct approaches to pictorial formulation.

    First, each of the paintings makes use of forms which are, or appear to be, capable of mathematical definition. These forms are on the whole relatively simple ones: broad stripes, segments of circular bands, wide spirals, triangles. They are overlaid and intertwined in careful

  • Mark Di Suvero and Edwin Ruda

    At the Park Place Gallery Mark Di Suvero and Edwin Ruda share the premises in a two-man show having the novel fillip of a couple of works done by the two men in collaboration. As has happened before in painter-sculptor two-man efforts where Di Suvero has been the sculptor, he completely dominates and steals the show. I have remarked upon this before, when another “wall artist” was the victim, pointing out that the sculptor always has the advantage in such a situation, but presumably the parties involved know what they’re doing.

    Ruda’s work is modular, “systemic” if you like, in that each piece

  • Edward Kienholz

    At the Dwan Gallery, Edward Kienholz, under the touted description “Concept Tableaux” shows one of his macabre mock-ups, together with projects for a dozen additional ones. To back off from these latter for a moment, the main thing to see in the exhibition is the artist’s The State Hospital. This piece reproduces with grisly fidelity a room, or rather a cell, in the hopeless ward of a state mental institution. One peeks into the room through a small barred window in the padlocked door to discover a brown varnished figure of an elderly nude man. He reclines, facing the observer, on an iron cot

  • Robert Howard

    At the Royal Marks Gallery, Robert Howard shows six pieces of recent sculpture in polychrome welded steel. The show breaks down into three pairs each of which has a specific kind of composition. In one group (Landscape XXII, Landscape XVIII) lenticular pods are perched on tubular flexing arms to suggest a spare and enlarged fantastic botany. The polychromy in these pieces, respectively blue and violet, and shades of ochre, is very carefully modulated to dictate one’s sequential experience of the forms. All of Howard’s pieces are marked by a nice sense of balance, a balance which involves not

  • Grace Hartigan

    Grace Hartigan’s current show at the Martha Jackson Gallery is welcome testimony that the artist has herself well in hand after some mushiness of formal content and thoughtless coloristic forays in past seasons. Now there is again the brisk and jarring presentation of a well thought out composition given just the meanness of palette necessary to remind one of how difficult it is to rassle with a big canvas. The gist of Hartigan’s ideas in this show is that the free invention of abstract form, given a certain cast of mind, results in a bewildering slash of biomorphic and environmental suggestions.

  • Frank Gallo

    Frank Gallo’s exhibition at Graham gives the public a better look at this figurative sculptor’s work than it was possible to get at the Whitney group show of younger artists this past spring. His widely-reproduced figure of a girl literally sinking into a butterfly chair is of course considered his chef d’oeuvre, and is a masterpiece of winking anecdotalism. His present show gives this lemon one more squeeze. This time it’s a clothed man sitting in a chair. This image (as a type) is competing out of Gallo’s league. Manzu’s neurasthenic seated woman in the Museum of Modern Art deals so masterfully

  • Drawings From New York Collections

    The second of the exhibitions of Drawings from New York Collections, organized jointly by the Metropolitan Museum and the Pierpont Morgan Library, is now at the latter of these institutions, and represents very well indeed The 17th Century in Italy. The preceding exhibition, that of Italian Renaissance drawings (held at the Met), had dealt exceptionally well with a field made extremely problematic both by the rarity of the material and the consequent limitations of local collections whether public or private. With 17th-century Italian drawings, there is a happy abundance of material and a

  • Man Ray

    Man Ray groups a number of his best-known vintage Surreal and Dada objects with some very recent collages and constructions, revealing the artist still very much at the top of his irreverent form. Largely sight gags in concrete form, the pieces range from the menacing “Object of Destruction” to the deadpan wit of “Architexture: Tip Your Hat.” Man Ray’s objects have always attested to his ingratiating gift for unlikely juxtapositions. The classic “Cadeau” (a flatiron with its working face vertically bisected by a row of nails pointing out) epitomizes the perceptual disorientation at the root of

  • James Weeks

    James Weeks’ new paintings make another strong show by this Californian, though the seriousness of the problems stated in these works perhaps surpasses the degree of successful resolution reached in any single picture. Weeks again and again runs head-on into the difficulty of maintaining the structural integrity of his compositions on the picture plane while using pictorial schemes that involve reckless excursions into deep landscape space. His high color, tending to angular areas, sacrifices volume in his forms to compositional arrangements curiously at variance with the plasticity implied by

  • Patrick Heron

    Patrick Heron’s current exhibition of oils makes a more forceful statement of his own abilities as an abstractionist than did the reverent curtsies to Gottlieb and Rothko seen in earlier shows. Heron has tightened up his form a great deal, now letting the contours pursue a course of sensitive irregularity with discernible purpose rather than poetic vagueness. Block slabs of color are pierced with roughish circles of contrasting hue that are sometimes a background color and sometimes that of another adjacent area. Intricately locked together by their common perimeter, the big main forms have a

  • Roger Bolomey, Duane Hatchett, David von Schlegell and Robert Howard

    A group show of one work apiece by four sculptors at Royal S. Marks makes it clear that the quality and interest of current sculpture continue to press toward higher standards within the straight sculpture approach of form and volume disposed in space with a minimum of associative meanings.

    Roger Bolomey, who has been more than usually libeled by the unsatisfactory nature of photographic reproduction, is represented with a large Wind Gate of polyurethane and aluminum. Meant to be set against a wall, this piece unfurls two large waves of blackish material, seemingly wind-formed, which almost meet

  • Giacomo Manzu

    At Paul Rosenberg and Co. an important exhibition of works by Giacomo Manzu features what the catalog confusingly terms “preparatory or final realizations” of the great bronze door of St. Peter’s at present installed in the Basilica. As only the Roman door itself can be the “final realization,” the reliefs on view must be studies or variants, since all of Manzu’s bronzes are unique casts from his waxes. These variants deal in similar form with the subjects on the door proper. Though Manzu had been at work on the project since receiving the commission in 1947, the final version displays an

  • Italian Renaissance Drawings

    Drawings from the Italian Renaissance is the first of a series of exhibitions devoted to master drawings from public and private collections located in the New York area to be organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art together with the Pierpont Morgan Library. Beginning logically with the first great epoch in Western art from which drawings survive in any number, the exhibition provides a sumptuous first course in what promises to be a feast for the eyes extending over several seasons. As the masters of the Italian Renaissance still hold the favored position in public taste that they have

  • William Tucker

    The English sculptor William Tucker makes his American debut at the Feigen Gallery with a group of works done over the past three years. Tucker is one of the new “conceptual form” sculptors who works almost exclusively with regular geometric forms, both planar and solid, disposed rhythmically through space in sequential fashion. Working in polychrome metal, plastics, and wood, his pieces are given an industrial finish consonant with their idealized Platonic forms. Tucker’s intellectualized perfection of image and execution does not lead to hackneyed Purist sterilities however. Skillful articulation

  • Paul Feeley

    Veteran Paul Feeley shows constructions rather than paintings in his current show at Betty Parsons. These works in painted plywood are all based on the round cornered square with curved-in sides that has been a familiar feature of his art for some time now. Interlocking multiples of this form severely order the space around them, engaging a far greater amount of surrounding territory than ought to be possible by the right-angled intersection of two thin planes. The pieces perversely deal with volumes while themselves having negligible mass and limited extent. Their polychromy does, however, give

  • David Weinrib

    At the Royal Marks Gallery David Weinrib has a good sized spread of pieces in the new manner and technique seen in the just-past Whitney Annual. Superficially, the novelty of Weinrib’s new pieces is in the material. He is now using a clear, or at least translucent plastic that can be solid-cast quite freely. Right off, this produces several unique effects, in that light is not only reflected from the surface of the work, but may penetrate into and through it as well. Happily, it is the spatial implications of these phenomena which Weinrib has chosen to work with; that is, now that the works not