Jane Harrison Cone

  • Caro in London

    THE STRONGEST IMPRESSION, AFTER SEEING Anthony Caro’s exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, is that of having discovered a sculptor whose work gets to the essence of a certain sculptural mode. I hope to explain what I mean by this in the observations that follow. The sense of discovery is especially true, if, as in my own case, one did not see the large exhibition of Caro’s work at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1963, and had a firsthand knowledge of his work from a relatively small number of sculptures. The knowledge gained from photographs is of a very depleted kind. The reality

  • New Work by Robert Murray

    THERE HAS BEEN A TENDENCY in Robert Murray’s sculpture, especially in a number of his earlier pieces, toward a kind of locked uprightness, something strained or constricted in the way in which the forms exist in space. It comes about, in part, from intention and idea being too quickly set, forced into a kind of definitiveness, by the materials themselves, so that the sculpture acquires a sense of something which is nearly realized but also very emphatically stated. This is only a general description of a quality that I have sometimes found problematical in Murray’s work and I shall return to

  • Judd at the Whitney

    ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING aspects to the exhibition of Donald Judd’s work at the Whitney is the degree to which the visual limitations of his art are seen and felt manifestly to embody intentions, rather than to advert explicity to intentions. This has not been my experience with the work of Robert Morris, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Carl Andre, and Sol LeWitt, to mention the names of a few artists who are usually grouped, together with Judd, under the general title of Minimalist artists. It is not only the degree to which Judd’s work visibly defines its own limits which sets him apart from the

  • Adolph Gottlieb

    IT IS A MOVING AND ALSO a perturbing thing to suddenly have access to a sufficiently large body of a living artist’s work so that one is able to assess it in its totality and discover aspects one had failed to see, or had seen too easily. Although the sheer size of Adolph Gottlieb’s exhibition—housed in the top two exhibition ramps at the Guggenheim and the fourth floor at the Whitney—inadvertently, I felt, put stress on the weaker aspects of his paintings, one learned from these in invaluable ways, and had, if anything, a heightened awareness of just how substantial and impressive are his

  • Frank Stella’s New Paintings

    ONE THING IS, I THINK, true of both Stella’s newest paintings and the asymmetrically shaped canvases which he exhibited last year—that they are fallible in a way that Stella’s paintings have never been before. This is not a statement about the relative quality of the paintings—in fact, I think certain paintings from Stella’s newest series are the finest he has ever made—it is a descriptive statement about the general tenor of the paintings. Within the terms of Stella’s work, both series manifest a new kind of flexibility which somehow provides the latitude for a painting to emerge more conspicuously

  • Kenneth Noland’s New Paintings

    IN HIS LATEST PAINTINGS, Kenneth Noland is forcing an encounter with pure color to a pitch where, in my experience, one is either repelled by a given painting and blocks the experience, or else one closes with it and lets the experience take over. I am not talking here of the countless times one quashes a painful coloristic dazzle simply because it proffers nothing but its unique power of irritation—the experiencing or not experiencing of Noland’s new paintings is not of this order. It should be stressed however, that in his latest paintings, Noland is exploiting optical dazzle and illusionism

  • David Smith

    WHEN DAVID SMITH DIED, one was made to realize the extent to which a single man had carried and extended the tradition of non-monolithic sculpture that derives ultimately from Cubist collage. His career spanned over thirty years, during which time he produced well over five hundred sculptures. His work from first to last is as distinctively and recognizably his as that of, say, Giacometti. Yet, while Smith’s terms are his own and his work deeply personal, at times to the point of mute quirkiness, there is the paradoxical realization in coming to know the scope of his oeuvre, that until the late

  • Wassily Kandinsky

    The Museum of Modern Art put on an extremely choice selection of Wassily Kandinsky watercolors. Forty out of the group of forty-six came from the collection of the artist’s widow and many of them had never been exhibited in this country before. Happily, the Guggenheim also mounted a group of Kandinsky oils from their, collection so that one had a particularly good opportunity to get an overview of Kandinsky’s career. Some of the watercolors have an extraordinary beauty and lucidity. Others suffer to such a degree from a kind of brittle, agitated over-elaboration that one wonders that the knowing

  • John Hoyland

    The five paintings John Hoyland showed in his recent exhibition had a frankness of beauty, and a sensuousness to them, which made it immediately apparent that he had gone beyond his consistently accomplished level of achievement to something more profound. I don’t know Hoyland’s earlier work well, but of the relatively small number of paintings I have seen, I found myself impressed but also troubled by a certain dryness, and an awkward edge of constraint. I felt of his previous exhibition at the Elkon Gallery, for instance, that the paintings were enervated by a too calculated, intellectually

  • Herbert Ferber

    It has seemed for the past several years that Herbert Ferber has been unable to free his sculpture from an absolutely debilitating kind of preciosity; his recent sculptures offer little to dispel this impression. Beyond this, however, my own feeling is that there is something profoundly contradictory in their status as sculpture, their physical configuration begging to be seen in a way with which it is simply impossible to comply. The contradiction is something which is prevalent in much of today’s sculpture and has to do with the fact that Ferber’s sculptures are as basically dependent on a

  • Philip Pearlstein

    There is a defiant didacticism to Philip Pearlstein’s paintings which I think I would find less offensive if I could draw some kind of nourishment from them. But I can’t. Seeing a group of Pearlstein’s nudes left me with the indefinable feeling of seeing a group of non-paintings, that is, Pearlstein’s repeated and emphatic presentation of a fastidiously doctored verisimilitude forced me to dwell on that and nothing else. It is not a verisimilitude which ultimately, I feel, answers to Pearlstein’s felt response to what he sees, but one which fairly evidently answers to some sort of posture he

  • Sylvia Stone

    The gentle, precise elegance which characterizes Sylvia Stone’s tinted plexiglass constructions is not able ultimately, I feel, to overcome the more dominant impact of the incongruity of their hanging, wall-projecting, or floor-spanning states. While Miss Stone does not attempt to conceal the literalness with which each shaped expanse of plexiglass inhabits our space—the large freestanding piece, for instance, supporting itself very obviously by means of a neat rectangular outgrowth of the same material—neither does she in any way contend with the literalness. She seems merely to borrow the

  • Hans Hofmann

    The Emmerich Gallery showed a group of Hans Hofmann’s paintings from 1955 to 1964. One painting in particular, Scintillating Red from 1962, possesses a beauty which makes one unsure of how best to cope with an art that is rooted, visibly, in the recent past but which makes itself felt with a freshness that continues to defy the past. One can so easily fail Hofmann by talking a historically of what it is that enthralls, or else subtly devalue his achievement by discussing his work purely in terms of recent history. A painting like Scintillating Red for instance—which consists of a single, explosive

  • David Annesley

    David Annesley showed three sculptures at the Poindexter Gallery which were extremely impressive. One piece (they were untitled) was, I felt, quite a bit less successful than the other two; attempting to account for its relative failure made one aware of the subtlety and denseness of the internal consistency of the three works and also how blunt and hopelessly generalized is the kind of terminology habitually used to deal with open metal sculpture.

    The pieces that Annesley showed in his last exhibition differ from his recent sculpture in slight but important ways; the work from both shows manifests

  • Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein’s one man exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy was the first he has had in New York. By any standard it was a good show but I was bothered by an aura of inconsequentiality that the paintings could not seem to overcome. The paintings propose a remote, neutral flatness which is given a precise measure of life by the white lines (actually the white of the sized canvas) which divide up the surfaces into a succession of geometric partitions. In almost all cases Feldstein uses a uniform pastel hue for the ground and the effect of the lines is that they are at once integrally a part of the

  • Alice Neel

    Alice Neel, who showed a group of portraits at the Graham Gallery, has a striking ability to get down what it is that is quick and aware and also specific in a human gaze. She concentrates on that riveting and elusive mobility which passes from the look in the eyes to the tension of cheeks and mouth, and goes after it with a style that is above all functional. That is, it has the aptness and inconsistencies of a style that closely mirrors the artist’s concentration—when the concentration falters the style itself obtrudes and seems fiddling and amateurish—Girl in a Green Dress, Anxiety and Hippie

  • Tony Delap and Gerald Laing

    Although Tony Delap and Gerald Laing are very different artists I think their exhibitions shared a common failing: the materials they use obtrude and instead of serving the artist simply extinguish whatever expressiveness is intended. (DeLap’s free-standing constructs are made from aluminum, wood, fiberglass and plexiglass and Laing’s wall-constructs from formica, painted aluminum and chromed brass.) Even this isn’t getting to the heart of what is wrong because I felt that behind the artists’ insistence on using materials pretty much unaltered, lies the conviction that the particular qualities