Emily Wasserman

  • Robert Swain and Stylianos Gianakos

    Robert Swain’s group of glowing rainbow-grid paintings from 1967 at the Fischbach Gallery came to me as a great surprise when I recalled the rather mechanical and stiffer three-color harmony canvases he had shown at the Park Place Gallery a few years back. Although still working with an admittedly rigid set of limitations, Swain has moved a long way in his ability to get beyond the mere mechanics of an organizational system, allowing a new bloom and extended range of color to sustain the expression of his work.

    Concerned with a means to project colors intensely and expansively without divorcing

  • E. W. Nay

    E. W. Nay, the German colorist, died at the age of 66 in Cologne in April of this year, and Knoedler’s has presented, in his first posthumous retrospective, a large sampling of the painter’s last works. I found them peculiarly pathetic and self-consciously hesitant, betraying the failure of both hand and vision to consummate themselves in old age with the authority and boldness one marveled at in a painter like Matisse, or with the confidence Nay himself must have possessed as a young artist. The often awkwardly achieved configurations, with their partly biomorphic, partly jagged and irregular

  • Clayton Pond

    With fluorescently bright reds, purples, greens, oranges, or blues, Clayton Pond characterizes his “Think Happy” mood in 15 canvases at Martha Jackson, depicting the corners and fittings in his studio-loft home. Happy, yes; the thinking—well, colorful anyway. Pond’s pictures of such intrinsically fascinating subjects as his Con Edison Meter, his Kitchen Sink (complete with dishes and garbage), his Toilet, his Grandmother’s Fan and other such paraphernalia display a Matissean delight in decorative patterning, as all the furnishings of his immediate environment are transformed into a homey little

  • Ellsworth Kelly

    At the Sidney Janis Gallery Ellsworth Kelly’s new paintings show a greater mobility of form balanced finely by his characteristic use of high-keyed, equal-valued color. While these works are not as luxurious as the rainbow sequences he exhibited two years ago, they mark out a new but fruitfully retrospective area in an heuristic development. He is now able to work his way through and beyond some of the figure-ground problems he had encountered in earlier work. Younger artists like Charles Hinman carried some of these concerns into three-dimensional shaped canvas, although Kelly himself extended

  • Robert Duran

    In his second one-man show at the Bykert Gallery Robert Duran diverges from the look of his earlier sculpture to explore a more systematic yet strangely more open organization in the new pieces. In several of his older works diagonal interlocks, jutting arrow-like shapes, and closely aligned axial parts often framed or forced the space into relatively defined areas. This tight spatial channeling left few possibilities for anything but the establishment of the emphatic, often blocky, gravity-bound volumes of the sculptures’ components. This obdurateness and control have not been abandoned in

  • Robert Motherwell

    The Whitney Museum exhibited 30 of Robert Motherwell’s recent collages, a series of beige figurations on white, and another group in which the artist employs Gauloises cigarette wrappers, envelopes, and bright patches of painted color, more geometrically organized than the freer torn and textured browns and whites of the former group. The Mu­seum’s director, John I. H. Baur (in a wall label posted near the collages) was truly apologetic in his explana­tion of the fact that the particular choice of Gauloises packets does not indicate Motherwell’s “susceptibility to French influence” (rather, it

  • John Button

    The studied mood of romantically tinged psychological isolation which the four representational oils by John Button (at the Kornblee Gal­lery) aimed to evoke was somewhat compromised by their curiously clumsy and sometimes hasty execu­tion. In Canadian Street Button shows an empty street with an ominously silhouetted corner, the dormered and shuttered windows of its buildings blank and dark, mute to the single figure of a woman crossing the in­tersection. The suppression of de­tail, the starkness of the lighting, the Hopperesque quality of alienation expressed by the scene itself are all effective

  • Keith Sonnier, Neil Jenney, Dan Christensen, David Budd

    At the Noah Goldowsky Gallery an end of the season (non-) group show included two young sculptors, Keith Sonnier and Neil Jenney, and two painters, Dan Christensen and David Budd.

    What Jenney calls his “non-visual sculpture” consists of a number of thoroughly unartistically arranged water-filled troughs of plastic and wood, fed with blurping and bubbling rubber tubes through which air is pumped by an exposed and shaky generator. To one side of this completely unassuming rattletrap and behind a screen in the corner of the room grows some dried-up moss dutifully watered by the ubiquitous Dick

  • Sam Gilliam

    In his first one-man showing in New York, Washington artist Sam Gilliam displays a range of touch and sensibility which indicates both his dependence on and divergence from the methods of other Washington painters, Louis and Noland. Although Gilliam takes off from Louis’s technique of spilling paint into troughs of canvas, the structuring which he obtains from his own version of this practice is less artfully contrived and more casual than the specificity of design which distinguishes the older artist’s work. Gilliam prefers to take advantage of surface tactility and attention is focused on the

  • Doug Ohlson

    Doug Ohlson showed a group of impressive multi-part paintings at the Fischbach Gallery in May. The monochromed vertical panels (each 18“ x 90”, a 1:5 ratio maintained in the placement of squares within them) were hung about 2 or 3 inches apart to form continuous horizontal paintings, often spanning an entire wall of the gallery. Head on these paintings look like tightly structured, though still divided groups of modular units which seem to be organized into formal progressions as the squares inside the panels are shifted in pairs or trios from one position to another across the parts. A logicality

  • Richard Van Buren, David Novros, Charles Ross

    IN RICHARD VAN BUREN’S earlier sculptures, which were made of opaque colored fiberglass cast over plywood, chunky volumes related aggressively to each other, angling into and cutting against the space around them. Usually two or three diagonally sliced or bar-like sections were arranged so that certain self-contained space relations were forced to occur between the parts. Such studied interior relationships somehow tended to exclude both the scale and physicality of the viewer and the room space around the pieces. Some of the later works were anchored low on the floor; their particular inertness,

  • Robert Goodnough

    In a series of large mural-sized canvases painted over the past two years Robert Goodnough has been synthesizing two alternate tendencies which have made themselves felt throughout his development. In his show at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, this combination is especially manifest, taking form in a new kind of openness and clarity which mark these paintings as among Goodnough’s major achievements in an otherwise uneven career. One has always noted this artist’s vacillation between an impulse to structure, perhaps too rigidly (derived from the Purist disciplines he experienced while studying with