Jeff Perrone

  • Mel Bochner: Getting from A to B

    The long chains of simple and easy reasonings by means of which geometers are accustomed to reach the conclusions of their most difficult demonstrations, had led me to imagine that all things to the knowledge of which man is competent, are mutually connected.
    René Descartes
    Discourse on Method (1637)

    THREE PLANAR ARCS WAS A painting done directly on the wall in casein and charcoal at the Whitney Biennial in 1977. It contained three “planar arc” configurations: one in the approximate center of the wall, the two others approximately equidistant from the center to the left- and right-hand sides near

  • Walter De Maria

    The fall season opens. No one’s much interested this year; people haven’t even gotten excited about the fall clothes collections, which are relatively more important to New Yorkers. Here and there the fringe elements climb into Punk skins, but it’s a façade of a difference. Things aren’t merely the same as last year, but pretty much the same as ten years ago. All that tautologous art has kept us at A equals A equals A; we haven’t gotten to B yet. One artist doesn’t even bother to paint this time around; just colored construction paper and two or three lines. A friend and I duck into a Soho bar

  • Agnes Martin

    Reductive abstractionists often back themselves into a corner with color. When structural variation is reduced from the start, or after repetition grows weary, there isn’t much more left to work with. In her last show, Agnes Martin flirted with color—pale orange and pink, and pale blue. It was a kind of naive representation of atmospheric, “poetic” color, and it was obvious that she had no feeling for, no idea about, color. After all those years of repression, it was probably too much for Martin to break out with some convincing or genuine account of color. It was nevertheless an interesting

  • Max Kozloff

    There are many things going on, and many things to be said about Max Kozloff’s photographs. This is both an asset and a problem. Obviously possessed of a lively intelligence, Kozloff packs every detail in every image with meaning; I’m sure he knows exactly what he’s doing, even if I don’t. The consequence of this thoroughness is that he does all the work for the viewer.

    A typical Kozlovian image reads as follows: a display of both carefully arranged and chaotic shelves of gold and silver objects which reflect light; the window in front of the display which reflects the scene across the street;

  • Lois Lane

    I have seen other paintings by Lois Lane, and I don’t quite understand how she got from there to here. There doesn’t seem to be any linear progression. In her new work, the consistency was to be found in a sensibility and roughness which pulled disparate things together. None of the paintings looked very much alike. Lane used to lean heavily toward process—folding, stapling—but none of that has been carried over in the new work. What is now important, it seems, are iconic elements, which are both direct and associative, blunt and allusive. There were iconic elements which were not repeated in

  • Christopher Rauschenberg

    Formalist photography has become so respectable that a curious reversal is underfoot. With so much photography being exhibited everywhere, it is easy to spot where enthusiasms and dissatisfactions are leading. Young photographers who once might have followed the formal route (emphasis on composition, texture, placement, cropping, a few elements under complete control) are slipping over into something else, losing coherence and gaining in informality. Christopher Rauschenberg might have played his hand straight, but perhaps he recognized how easy it is to achieve the nicely juggled photograph,

  • Introductions ’77

    Even though it is becoming more frequent for San Franciscans, like their New York counterparts, to head off to Europe during the summer, the most lively part of the season still seems the summer “Introductions.” Complaints are often heard regarding the selection of artists who are “introduced,” how the newcomers look all too much like gallery regulars, or how the young are safely tucked away during the traditionally dead months when no one goes to the galleries. But this program does offer a chance for the local audience to see art made in Sacramento, Eureka, even Nevada and Idaho.

    A local squabble

  • Dal Henderson and Nance O’Banion

    The Allrich Gallery’s two “Introductions” artists have, in fact, both shown extensively in the area. Nance O’Banion is well known for her long involvement in the Bay Area fiber movement. Long before such things were made acceptable in New York by the likes of Rauschenberg and Kelly, many artists here advocated handmade paper and textiles as a resurrection of crafts, a return to the carefully made, unique object. The relative obscurity of the fiber movement has been maintained by its alignment with the label “crafts,” as in the dichotomy “arts and crafts.” Dal Henderson has shown in the big area

  • Hanna Hannah, Stan Askew, And Jean Thrift

    In the category of growth potential, the clear winner was Hanna Hannah; even her palindromic name was intriguing. The dominant quality in her delicate paintings on paper was an emotional and formal openness. She divides the standard 22-x-30-inch sheet into a lightly pencilled grid over which she adds numerous kinds of markings that congregate near the grid lines, but do not conform to its rigidity. The effect, as in O’Banion’s paper pieces, is to obviate the necessity of the grid. The liquidy pastel strokes and random color pencil marks look downright inelegant (no mean feat): the artist’s

  • Donna-Lee Phillips

    In one of her photo-text sequences, Donna-Lee Phillips’ fictional character asks, “Who remembers?” The answer, in the form of another question, comes later, in another piece: “If it weren’t for photographs, who would know?” Phillips explores the relationship between remembering, knowing and substantiation through photographs—memory as a problem solved by a device.

    The woman Phillips directs in her five sequences often acts out her life in front of a mirror, sitting at a vanity. At the other times, the camera functions as a mirror. In one, a man in the background waits for the woman to get made

  • Hal Fischer

    By approaching Hal Fischer’s photographs from this angle I do not intend to insinuate that his work addresses itself to these problems directly. Not exactly, for his photos are quite humble in their presentation and their effectiveness. What is important is a kind of directness and clarity which signify an analytical way of thinking that can be applied to many different subject matters. Fischer applies structuralist principles to the dissection, in particular, of the homosexual subculture; but a more general, less exotic, subject might have done just as well. This is to say that Fischer never

  • Eva Hesse

    Lucy Lippard, Eva Hesse (New York: New York University Press), 1976, 249 pages, 263 illustrations.

    LUCY LIPPARD DEALS WITH A body of work that has been surrounded by partisan excess, but she strikes a balanced pose, without dramatic claims, intense personal confessions or far-flung rhetoric. Scholarly and even-toned, her prose is matter-of-fact and almost dry in many places. Somehow Lippard manages to skirt the academic, and nothing seems unthinking or taken for granted. If pared-down prose can be a sign of simplemindedness, here it is the distillation of thought, consciously unadorned.

    As a critic