Dennis Adrian

  • Walter de Maria: Word and Thing

    CORDIER & EKSTROM RECENTLY SHOWED THE WORK of Walter de Maria, a young American artist who works entirely with the duality of objects and their verbal formulation, or, another way, with the vertiginous mystery that separates the word and the thing itself. A case in point is a series of “drawings” (in that they are pencil on paper) consisting of six framed sheets of identical size, each containing one word, block lettered (with serifs) in the middle. The words are: TREES SKY RIVER FIELD MOUNTAIN SUN. Finding only these words where we expect to see a picture is the catalytic experience by which

  • Edward Higgins’ New Sculpture

    EDWARD HIGGINS’S NEW SHOW of seven untitled pieces at Castelli does not, despite the presence of several novel features, bring his work forward to any real advancement of the sculptural concepts he has long since established. As before, the pieces are finely worked combinations of welded steel and ivory epoxy resin, and their abstract compositions are articulated with a fine sense of the organic possibilities of conceptual forms. The results, as always, are handsome and satisfying, and make it clear that Higgins has a rare sophistication in his formal ideas that allows his work to be very refined

  • Martial Raysse

    The Martial Raysse exhibition now at the Iolas Gallery is another engrossing example of the misconstruction of the New World by the Old. M. Raysse utilizes American-made artistic and technical inventions, but makes his presentations with an endearing quality and giddiness that can only be French. There are three kinds of works in the show; paintings which are made up of separate rectangular panels of identical size, constructions of plastic and neon, and intarsia-like reliefs of flat layers of colored plastic. Also, at least one of the paintings has a neon ornament.

    The paintings utilize blown

  • Lee Lozano

    Lee Lozano’s group of five big paintings at the Bianchini Gallery provides an opportunity to see, in a well-developed form, some recent ramifications of a broad current in American art today, that of commitment to a reductive, abstract mode of expression which nonetheless permits a very rich kind of pictorial experience. In Miss Lozano’s work there is not the usual situation of preposterous inflation of modest formal ideas for the sake of a kind of absurd rhetoric, but a genuine and polished ability to compress, within a deliberately restricted range of forms, a ferment of energetic perception.

  • Harvey Quaytman

    At the Royal Marks Gallery, Harvey Quaytman shows a series of large recent paintings which are more or less of the current “gestural abstraction” variety; that is to say, the image consists of a few large relaxed forms seen against a ground of unsized bare canvas. These forms seem to be the result of thinnish liquid pigment being allowed to extend itself in some direction under partial control by the artist. Quaytman’s manipulations go considerably further than this familiar process to give his works several novel features, both perceptual and technical.

    First, his color, a sober array of browns,

  • Brian O’Doherty

    Brian O’Doherty’s exhibition at the Byron Gallery is another of the manicured performances that seem to be the special prerogative of those who know a great deal about art, a great deal about artists, a great many artists, a great deal about the art world, and a very great deal about how to get along in the art world. All of these considerations are wantonly thrust upon the observer here, without quarter or mercy.

    Entering the gallery, one is confronted with a framed electrocardiograph of Marcel Duchamp, with Mr. O’Doherty’s name in the space indicated for “doctor.” This object, so rich in

  • Wayne Thiebaud

    These works present nothing new to one’s notion of Thiebaud’s achievement, but they do maintain the level of guarded professionalism that has marked his last two shows. The excitement and sense of discovery present in his New York debut do not, unfortunately, reappear this time.

    At this point, it seems that Thiebaud has decided to perfect his manner and leave all considerations of style alone, at least as far as painting itself goes. It is only his subjects that have a style, or styles, in the sense of “period.” Presenting (as he almost invariably does) a centrally placed image against a white

  • Willem De Kooning

    This month the Allan Stone Gallery shows a group of recent de Koonings, mostly drawings, together with a few medium-sized oils. All deal with women in the mocking and provocative guise combining sexuality and aggressiveness into possession that Euripides treated of in The Bacchae. Most of the drawings are in charcoal or black chalk and show a return to linear concerns that reflect the general firming up of forms detectable in de Kooning’s work since 1962. Big swipes with the side of the chalk still give the expressive blurring that contributed so much brio to the earlier Women of nearly fifteen

  • Peter Saul

    In his current exhibition at the Allan Frumkin Gallery Peter Saul shows a series of very large drawings in colored inks and crayons. Skirmishing with the topics of Vietnam and the wild vulgarities of present-day American life, these drawings reach a pitch of eye-blistering ferocity touched on in his show of oils last season.

    Saul’s artistic vision combines a manic wackiness of formal invention with a scatological imagery so ingenious and hysterically varied as to invite comparison with the most colorful tableaux described in Sade’s Justine. Saul’s characters however are all in modern dress; each

  • Tom Doyle

    Tom Doyle’s show at the Dwan Gallery consists of just two large polychrome sculptures, but has ample satisfaction for all this limitation. His recent work is a move away from the attenuated whittled volumes of his former style to an exclusive concern with huge planes of simple configuration bent and sprung through space. The traditional preoccupations of sculpture with the disposition of massy volumes is no longer a part of Doyle’s approach. The smooth colored surfaces he favors are flung billowing out grandly or flopped across struts to remain poised or slack, expressing energies and states

  • Robert Keyser

    At Paul Rosenberg and Co. Robert Keyser shows fifteen visionary landscapes and interiors of a highly specific order. These fantasies are not concerned with the tidy transcription of inner emotional experiences but with the ambiguities of our analogical visual structurings of reality. The strange atmosphere of these oils comes not from the dream-made-vivid practice of orthodox Surrealism but from the apparent contradictions that arise when a picture contains, inextricably mingled, more than a single visual system.

    The perils of this approach have of course defeated many artists who, from the time

  • Mary Frank

    Mary Frank’s new exhibition at the Stephen Radich Gallery gives a very full idea of the range and variety of her art. Her sculpture (both reliefs and free-standing pieces) in wood and bronze are conclusive demonstrations of a rare ability, that of being able to double-clutch smoothly and with no loss of momentum from modeling to carving along a single course of imagery and expressive concerns. Stirred by a personal vision rather troubling in its grave poetry and sustained by a firm, developed craft, Mrs. Frank’s work is the statement of an artist who hasn’t hustled her development, but let it