Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

  • Gary Hill

    Gary Hill’s wire constructions come in two sorts. The floor pieces look like they’re based on the work of Anthony Caro. One of these was accompanied by a small split screen, showing two—simultaneously projected—details of wire surfaces. This piece was also accompanied by a sound recording, of wire being vibrated or shaken or possibly raked with a tuning fork. The wall pieces, which are more open and also more regular in their construction, more resemble Don Judd’s work. All the work is made out of strands of thick wire, welded together at the ends—where the plane changes—and must have been

  • Peter Bardazzi

    Talk about commodity objects leads right (not to make a pun) to Peter Bardazzi’s paintings, compositions in which piles of curvilinear and conical abstract shapes topple into and away from one another, never fail to depress. The paintings are completely involved with nostalgia for the period immediately around the First World War, in particular—as far as the paintings are concerned—for Futurism. They are abstractions in Bloomingdale colors that literally, which is to say pictorially, take place in a void.

    The collages are just as bad. Untitled Collage, 1974, features a variety of referents to

  • Louis Finkelstein

    I’ve saved Louis Finkelstein’s paintings till last so as not to have to end on a sour note. Finkelstein is another artist who’s been around for a long time, but whose work I don’t know well. In his paintings of France and New York he seems to take a hard-line, late 19th-century position. At the center of the painting there’s a crossing over of two spaces, so that one moves from front to back by reading the object from the bottom left to the top right and from the bottom right to the top left. The landscape is studied for reflected light, the alternation of lights and darks, and the transition

  • Robert Ryman

    Because of immense differences in the way surface is achieved in individual works, which make each painting affect experience in a manner that I’m obliged to describe as unique, Robert Ryman’s exhibition will almost certainly turn out to have been the most varied show of the year.

    What unites this body of work, in my opinion, is a preoccupation with the mediated interaction between the painted surface and the wall in front of which it hangs. By this I mean that Ryman’s use of white paint—different kinds of white paint, and different applications of it—draws one’s attention to the conventional

  • Richard Serra

    Having said that, let me add that I regard Richard Serra as a sculptor whose work stands comparison with any from the past or present, and that it is’ with this in mind that I’m going to express certain reservations about his drawings. Serra’s sculpture presents one with an incredibly beautiful dislocation of physical space by steel. However, when this dislocation becomes the subject of a two-dimensional work, other elements seem to intrude that undermine the efficacy of the piece. Serra’s feeling for steel seems to oblige him to work in a way that transfers, or wants to transfer, that material’s

  • Robert Swain

    Robert Swain is one of those who insisted on continuing to paint after the medium’s death was announced in the late 1960s. His canvases are all divided into one-foot squares, each of which is differently colored. Usually—but not always—there’s a black or almost black square in the top right-hand corner, and one that’s white or almost white at the bottom left. (Or, as I shall soon say, so it seems.) Between these extremes of value, in which the role hue plays is severely reduced if not entirely absent, are a series of progressions established by the chains of colors set up horizontally and

  • David Hatchett

    David Hatchett chose to advertise his show with a photograph of himself superimposed upon his largest work, a remarkably poor blow-up of a Cézanne. One is aware that there is such a thing as suburban art, and this is it, a consistent reliance on timidity presented as cleverness. Some of the paintings are of wooded landscape, and these seem to grow out of another group of—slightly earlier—art school abstractions. Both are painted in a style that might be termed “translucent Orphism.” A third group, painted, if you like, more “boldly,” depict tents, those sacred reductions of architecture in which

  • Brice Marden’s Painting

    Anyone who saw me at work would think I was only interested in questions of form.

    —Bertolt Brecht1

    Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience. Unitary forms do not reduce relationships. They order them. If the predominant, hieratic nature of the unitary form functions as a constant, all those particularizing relations of scale, proportion, etc., are not thereby canceled. Rather they are bound more coherently and indivisibly together.

    —Robert Morris2

    IN THE SEVEN YEARS between Nebraska (1966) and the Grove Group (1973), Brice Marden established and explored a set

  • Robert Morris: the Complication of Exhaustion

    No one’s mind is likely to have been changed by the exhibitions of Robert Morris’ work that took place in New York and Philadelphia in the spring of this year. One interesting thing about Morris is that he seems to be an artist who—for many people—has remained extremely problematic although he has achieved the status of a major contemporary figure. Which is, I think, symptomatic of the complexity of his ambition. To remain problematic is to maintain the capacity to provoke, and this Morris continues to do in a way that elaborates an earlier statement of his own: "Characteristic of a gestalt is

  • Robert Smithson

    What we got at Robert Smithson’s drawing show was essentially a rehearsal of the central part of the story whose limits were recently determined by John Coplans, in the course of his discussion of the Amarillo Ramp, 1973 (Artforum, April, 1974). The themes established there—Smithson’s Romanticism, his feeling that art could be made out of anything, his interest in the manipulation of landscape, and in entropy—are paralleled by Susan Ginsberg’s and Joseph Masheck’s contributions to the catalogue. Ginsberg’s is a kind of eulogy that orients one to the work. Masheck’s discussion concentrates on

  • Raphael Ferrer

    For one thing, the Surreal is strident in Raphael Ferrer’s work as far as I can see. Ferrer’s measuring devices, which can measure things only in their own terms rather than in categories interchangeable with those of any other system, engage in a frustration of the utilitarian quite central to Surrealism. And, its resurrection by Ferrer has a precedent in Robert Morris’ collection of unequal yardsticks. Taken as a whole, Ferrer’s work seems to enunciate an indirect association with Surrealism inasmuch as it recreates the primitive to place it in a gallery. The preconscious is provisionally

  • Barry Le Va

    Looking at Barry Le Va’s drawings, I get the feeling that one is expected to respond as if to withheld information. Unlike the sculpture he’s made recently, the drawings don’t appear to be even hypothetically self-explanatory. Instead they look like choreographer’s notes without the written notations and, like the sculpture in this respect, they suggest a systematic distribution that’s hard to grasp. Le Va almost seems to be engaged in the communication of an impenetrability resulting from the absence of apparent motivation. One is confronted with an experience which might reasonably be treated