Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

  • Michael Steiner

    From my point of view Michael Steiner’s achievement—like, in this respect, Fugate-Wilcox’s—is predicated on a dubious involvement with the question of the work as a commodity. But in his case this is a consequence of an overt, artistic choice which—because of the support system in the world at large, that is, for reasons that are only partially artistic, attendant on his making this choice—happens to locate Steiner in a milieu that I regard as compromised, rather than a refusal to engage in dialogue at all while using a common set of terms. Which is what, in the case of Fugate-Wilcox, drives

  • “Public Dialogue with Joseph Beuys”

    Joseph Beuys’ “Public Dialogue,” at the New School on January 11th, was much more interesting for what it revealed about the New York art community than it was as an event that shed light on the work and epistemological limits of Beuys’ career and persona. In this respect, it must be counted as a great success, for Beuys’ achievement is predicated on forcing an act of didactic reflexiveness to occur.

    The evening promised to be exhilarating from the start. On arrival at the New School, one found that many more people had turned up than the auditorium could possibly accommodate. Since the event

  • Lynda Benglis

    Lynda Benglis’ work interests me more and more. An article that will compare her Knots—especially the metallic-looking ones that were recently exhibited in Houston—with her work in video certainly should be forthcoming. Such a comparison could, I think, locate Benglis’ concern with narrative, and come to grips with the nature of her concern with narrative as a concept that’s vitally altered by mediation—representation—of any specific sort.

    Benglis has told me that she has always thought of herself as an artist concerned with pictorial issues, rather than a sculptor. Her present show confirms

  • David Rabinowitch

    David Rabinowitch’s sculpture is primarily of interest for the way in which it concentrates attention within the work while seeming to be related to a sculptural enterprise that seeks to do the opposite. Rabinowitch is a Canadian, and developed his attitude to sculpture in a milieu as responsive to English art as to American. Perhaps because of this, perhaps for some other reason, his ambition is of a sort that’s opposed to the kind of literal reassertion of the ground plane that occurs in the work of Carl Andre, with whose sculpture his seems at first—to an eye that’s been educated by recent

  • Anne Truitt

    Anne Truitt’s show confirms one thing—if none other—about her work: she’s consistent. In fact, in ten years her sculpture seems to have changed virtually not at all. A Washington artist, born in Baltimore in 1921, Truitt depends on color in a way that links her with Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. In connection with this, Roberta Smith reminded me that Clement Greenberg called Truitt the first Minimalist. That, given her dependence on color as a property which qualifies and reduces the material emphasis of her work, doesn’t seem to me a useful way of characterizing what she does. Except for

  • Andrew Tavarelli

    Andrew Tavarelli’s paintings get better, I find, the more one looks at them. They are helped in this by being a bit rough in execution, which reduces their tendency to be seductive, as so much painting that relies on ’60s chromaticism is. Like the sculpture of Anne Truitt, some of Tavarelli’s paintings appear to have something to do with the Constructivism-qualified-by-Matisse esthetic of Ellsworth Kelly. Also with the idiosyncratic use of the stretcher’s edge developed in the mid-’60s work of Jo Baer. But I am most interested in an aspect of Tavarelli’s work that doesn’t refer to either of

  • Art & Language

    The Art & Language show centers around a “message” which ends: “. . . we have replaced Angst with the grammar of going-on (concatenation).” This is a revealing sentence, I think, which needn’t be taken literally—whether or not that’s the intention behind it. Rather, it can be read as an assertion which encapsulates an ambition. It serves to demonstrate the Art & Language group’s general tendency to identify itself, by assertion, with what is true of advanced thought in general—that the nominal subject of existentialist speculation, the (psycho-historical) dilemma of the individual, has been

  • Elias Friedensohn

    Elias Friedensohn’s oil paintings connect with the work of others who seem—to me—to be involved with the “innocent modernism” of Puvis de Chavannes. In particular, they remind me of the work of Bruno Civitico, whose paintings are also technically adept, historically evocative, and philosophically—esthetically—marginal.

    Friedensohn’s color and composition, besides bringing to mind Puvis’ last gasp of Mediterranean classicism in the industrial age, also appear to be about the kind of deep space that occurs in the paintings of Tiepolo. In nearly all of Friedensohn’s pictures figures float in the

  • Douglas Huebler’s Recent Work

    THOMAS PYNCHON’S NOVEL, GRAVITY’S RAINBOW, declares an ambition to make physics become metaphysics; Douglas Huebler’s work relates to Pynchon’s in a vital respect, which is that Huebler seems to want to make the “sociological“ achieve an analogous transcendence. By this I mean that Huebler wants to make ways of documenting events stand for a larger paradigm, one that can contain enough of the conditions of experience in the real world to stand as a sort of model for ordinary language itself. In Huebler, sociology—events in the real world—becomes a sort of phenomenological linguistics—language

  • Eva Sonneman, Paul Mogenson and Lucio Pozzi

    The kind of “first, second” sequence that Douglas Huebler uses in Duration Piece #7 is basic to Eva Sonneman’s work, which consists of pairs of photographs. These are taken in the same place—although not from the same position in that place—and then printed simultaneously. From one frame to the next an enormous variety of changes occur, in the action caught by the camera, in its field of vision, and also as in Family Portrait, Chicago, 1969 in the physical quality (the focus and light) of the photography itself. Sonneman’s way of working is highly intuitive, there is no set time between shots,

  • Howard Buchwald

    Howard Buchwald is also concerned with painting as a thing in the world, as, in his own words, an object to be looked at. His new paintings—all made very recently—are small in contrast to the piece he exhibited in the Whitney Annual a couple of years ago, but are similarly involved with an achieved equilibrium between “opticality” and objectness. I find the new paintings much more successful than the larger, earlier work, which involved a large orange field surrounded by squares of varying size. My take on that was that not enough seemed to happen in the middle of the painting that could respond

  • Frank Stella

    Frank Stella continues to make paintings that involve a literal equivalent for modernism’s shallow pictorial space. As with his other work of the last couple of years, the new paintings employ a variety of materials, in particular masonite, cardboard, felt, and wood.

    To begin with the support, I find it intriguing that during the period in which he’s been making his work in this way, Stella has consistently inserted three layers of corrugated cardboard between the stretcher bars and the surface. The sort of alternation between hard and soft that occurs across the front of these pieces is built