Emily Wasserman

  • Whitney Annual

    The Whitney Annual’s 165 item supermarket (commonly known as its biennial show of contemporary American painting) opened with a mixed bag of both very good and appallingly inferior works, representing everything from hard edge geometric and minimal, “Op,” “ Pop,” and shaped canvases, to kinetics and rock bottom traditional easel painting. Nevertheless, there is enough to make it a worthwhile visit. A Ford Foundation grant enabled the Museum’s directors and curators to travel throughout the country surveying and selecting paintings. If this permitted, on the one hand, the procuring of some first

  • William Copley

    At the Alexander lolas Gallery William Copley’s (or CPLY as the signature goes) mock innocent illustrations pay homage to the Yukon ballads of Robert W. Service, a vagabond bard who was born in 1874. Cply’s pictures are titled with verses from these narrative jingles about the region’s legendary taverns and brothels. With a small vaudevillian cast of faceless mounties, provocative blondes and barmaids, or men in bowler hats and herringbone suits, he illuminates the waggish humor of the rhymes, and in a broad decorative style that enhances the subject matter while it turns us away from any (

  • Oscar Bluemner

    The Graham Gallery honors the centennial of the birth of Oscar Bluemner with a provocative and pleasing selection of his oils and watercolors. One-time architect Bluemner is known particularly for his expressionistic and irrational use of color; he was dubbed the “Vermillionaire” due to his use of the startling red in almost every one of his paintings. As a color theorist, his concepts owed as much to Byzantine mosaics, medieval stained glass and illumination, or Oriental painting, as they did to the ideas of Delaunay and the American Synchromists. Unlike these moderns, however, Bluemner chose

  • Elliot Offner

    Shifting from the Bykert Gallery to Elliot Offner’s sculpture at the Forum is to experience a swift and obvious emotional disjunction between two not so distant generations. Bollinger is understated and cool in his approach to materials and forms, as Offner is emotionally committed and involved in a kind of precious artisanship which no longer interests most of the youngest sculptors. Although the two are at extreme opposite poles, neither Offner nor Bollinger seems to represent the finest that either attitude would have to offer. Offner’s show is composed of thirty carved or cast plaques,

  • Pat Adams

    Pat Adams’s oils and small gouaches at the Zabriskie Gallery please without challenging, and subdue by tasteful consonance, rather than jolt the eye with a bright blast of color. The sixteen gouaches are detailed Schwitters-like visions from which the oils seem to have been distilled and enlarged. They usually contain diagonal bands of wood-grainy or flecked textures played off against swatches which suggest textile samples and fabric designs. Many of these tiny studies are characteristic of Adams’s reserve and spareness, despite their decorative fillip. Others are filled with surprisingly rich

  • Billy Apple

    Billy Apple’s U.F.O.’s (Unidentified Fluorescent Objects) at the Howard Wise Gallery launch us into ostensibly new rainbowed realms. In a flash of technical wizardry these flickering, whirling, pulsing and buzzing missiles surround the viewer with an eerily brilliant fantasy. Their impact is dulled, however, for anyone who is familiar with Times Square, which seems to have beaten Mr. Apple to the punch, and a few decades in advance of him, at that. The quivering vapors within the glass rods and spirals tend to become too associated with the commercial neon signs which are their predecessors.

  • Dan Flavin

    Once again Dan Flavin presents his unsentimental bars of fluorescence at the Kornblee Gallery. This year the whole show is green. All of the paired, eight-foot-long rods of light are set at diagonals onto the walls, extending from baseboards to door frames, moldings or corner angles. One is almost put off by the sheer intensity of the emerald glow when entering the room, but once inside, the color fades to an eerie pallor. The unrelenting light bleaches out shadows, dissolving even the silhouette of the glass tubes which contain it. Perhaps the most unintentionally dramatic effect is induced by

  • Conrad Marca-Relli

    During the years between 1952 and 1967 Conrad Marca-Relli has experimented with many variations on the theme of large-scale collage as a “complete pictorial system.” His recent Whitney Museum retrospective is a clear exposition of an exceedingly cohesive and sound development. If Marca-Relli’s work is not distinguished by a totally original approach to form and figuration, it is certainly the record of a fine and commandingly tasteful sensitivity to the substance and material of his oeuvre.

    A cue to all of Marca-Relli’s production, in distinguishing it from that of his Abstract Expressionist

  • Tom Doyle

    Tom Doyle’s show at the Dwan consists, quite largely, of one major sculpture which spans most of the gallery’s length, looming close to the ceiling. Doyle juxtaposes disparate polychromed masses, whose off-axis dynamics and individualized shapes represent a current, but also retrospective antithesis to the unifying, non-relational designs of primary structures or the singularity of “specific objects.” The open volumes and extended, interrelating parts clearly refer to Doyle’s foundation in the gestural, romantic spirit of Abstract Expressionism, yet an updated instinct for broadened, simpler

  • Lennart Anderson

    Lennart Anderson’s tiny still lifes, portraits and landscapes are quiet testimony to a gentle and ordered outlook on nature and the commonplace objects of domestic life. All of his canvases are intimate, unperturbed views, casual, yet never simply chance arrangements of items or forms, and uniformly pervaded with a melancholy starkness. Studio nudes in chaises-longues lie inattentive and lax; rivers glide smoothly beneath cloudy skies, as if waiting for some mercurial event to grace them in passage. Even factory chimneys can become a kind of pastorale, rising smokeless and barren from unpeopled

  • Gene Davis

    Gene Davis shows four of his largest wall-sized striped canvases at the Fischbach. The expansive possibilities of this mural scale are offset, however, by the use of excruciatingly thin half-inch vertical bands in at least two of the works shown. Their uniform opacity and chromatic congestion create, at times, some disappointingly compressed spatial situations, given the otherwise lively brightness of the paintings.

    Dr. Peppercorn, whose one-inch wide stripes in an “edible” palette of magenta, cherry red, orange, and vegetable green, and Raspberry Icicle are certainly less acidic in their overall

  • Celine Chalem

    Celine Chalem’s sculptured tables at the Martha Jackson Gallery are as unabashedly sensualist as they are emphatically practical in aim. Chalem doesn’t think of her pieces as unapproachable, pristine objects. Rather, the wood, marble, bronze, or glazed ceramic free-form torsos, accommodating fruits and spheres into the curves or depressions of the body’s relief, are meant to be touched, handled, eaten upon, and celebrated with.

    In works such as the Playboy Breakfast Table, halved melons and apples open to reveal cups, bowls, or breasts, and the shallows smoothed into the silvered surface are