John Coplans

  • John Chamberlain

    The blurring of the distinction between painting and sculpture is now almost so commonplace that it has become an accepted phenomenon. The Museum of Modern Art Assemblage exhibition, recently shown in San Francisco, was an attempt to define and categorize this particular trend, but as Irving Sandler once wrote “any attempt to define a style must fall short in describing the uniqueness of its most interesting artists.” Chamberlain, who was shown in this exhibition, certainly possesses this uncategorizable uniqueness.

    The miracle of Chamberlain’s art is that these pieces of scarred and worn skins

  • Fred Martin, Tony Delap, Nell Sinton, Roy De Forest

    Excellently displayed in the corridors of a museum usually noted for its unconcern with (or ignorance of(?)) those niceties of hanging which are important to providing a proper framework of visual impact, this exhibition is deliberately linked by the consistent small scale of the works, which average about a foot square. Since Pollock, large canvases have been the order of the day in America, incorporating as they have, notions of enclosing and assaulting the viewer in an environment of paint. The tradition of the small format, however, has not been ignored: at least one major American artist,

  • The Grunewald Collection of Prints

    On loan from the University of California at Los Angeles is this superb collection of prints. It contains a wide and rich variety of works by most of the major European artists of the latter half of the 19th century and early part of the 20th. Apart from Steinlen, every artist is a major figure as a painter. The Impressionists are thoroughly represented, there is a Manet portrait of Lola de Valence which reveals his enormous debt to Goya, excellent works by Degas, Cézanne, Renoir and Bonnard. But a dramatic red and yellow woodcut by Gauguin from his Tahiti period dated 1894 and entitled Te Po

  • Eliot Porter, Richard Garrod

    Porter exhibits a series of landscapes and images of rock surfaces in muted but highly selective color. He is a colorist of ability who brings a fresh vision to this branch of photography. His photographs reveal him as a person of great sensitivity with very perceptive thoughts on nature and our relationship to it. Garrod, who also uses nature as a theme is much more abstract and shows work only in black and white. His photographs are most skillfully composed with very strong contrasts; he has an extraordinary eye for details. He is a visual poet who completely transcends his media and takes it

  • Notes on the Nature of Joseph Cornell

    CORNELL LIVES IN Flushing, New York. He was born at Nyack, New York, in December, 1903. Little is known of the artist’s early life, though a schoolboy interest in the theatre, history, and symbolist poetry is revealed. There is no record of college education or formal art training.

    There is little doubt that there was a special cultural climate in New York during his early years. The Armory show of 1913, which in turn produced the Steiglitz Gallery, the first avant-grade gallery in America, featured photography as much as painting. The climate of opinion at that time considered that photography,

  • “Work in Clay by Six Artists”

    In any environment, artistic, literary or scientific, the general level of its insights, intuitions and awareness—its total sensibility, is altered and shaped by a few key minds who open the pathways from the past and present, to the future. This exhibition could well be thought of as an homage to Peter Voulkos, since it was his direct attack (together with John Mason), that smashed, several years ago, the longstanding ossified craft approach to the use of fired and glazed clay forms. Voulkos opened the use of this medium to the chain reaction of current ideas in contemporary American art,

  • British Art Today

    THIS EXHIBITION SHOULD BE VIEWED against the deter­mined and planned attempt on the English scene over the last fifteen years to shatter its innate artistic provincialism, and at the same time emulate the American breakthrough from the stranglehold of both the cultural and commercial monopoly of the École de Paris.

    Apart from Moore, Hepworth, Nicholson and Sutherland, who were in full and mature possession of their art prior to the Second World War, this exhibition shows the major contributors to, and survivors of, successive shifts towards this ideal of regional cultural independence, culminating

  • Charles Mattox: Three Machines

    His machines, often gimmicky and witty, are a form of up-to-date popular art more concerned with the rosy science-fiction vision of the marriage of art and technology than with constructivist purity of color, line, form and space.

    Rotating Color Field. Consists of a series of mechanically rotating vanes painted in dark saturated colors. When in motion the color field silently turns a cycle of colors and has a mysterious and hypnotic visual quality.

    Switcher-Bitcher. Apart from having the expected superimposed motion of various parts rotat­ing and reciprocating with a pattern of lights in a numbered

  • Wilfrid Zogbaum

    Zogbaum’s sculpture, like all good art, has that most powerful capacity to kindle in our imagination the complicated orchestration of perception, sensation, notion and intuition which we feel to be the innermost and deepest content of art, be it poetry, painting, music or sculpture.

    A Bird in 25 Parts is one work among the many he currently exhibits. In common with all his other works it shares the same noble and fine sculptural touch that consistently dis­tinguishes his art, but in addition, has a certain technical innovation of inter­est. As the name implies, this piece con­sists of twenty-five

  • Herbert Ferber

    From the size of this exhibition, the enormous cost of transporting and setting up the large number of works shown, as well as the lavish sixty-four page catalog, with its omniscient introduction by Wayne Andersen of the Walker Art Center, one would naturally expect to be viewing the work of a major and important contributor to the twentieth-century sculptural idiom, at least equivalent in inventiveness and performance to such artists as David Smith, Henry Moore and Giacometti. Add to this Ferber’s reputation for high intelligence and upright humanism, his friendship with some of the best artistic

  • Jeremy Anderson

    At his best, this artist is a mysterious image-maker who defeats any precise vocabulary of established ideas. Nothing in his work is as it appears to be, the images continuously slip, shift and change, but not as a result of any optical device, but rather of psychological ones. His simply carved, square and twin-turreted castle directly derives from ambiguous impressions of home, Kafka, tomb, womb, bomb shelter, cellar, hall, jail, chimney, penis, vagina, flags, well, moat, wooden horse, armory, army engineers semaphore tower, torture chamber, Europe, and Castle Line. These fleeting impressions

  • Reuben B. B.

    An obviously sincere and hardworking artist who paints a wide variety of subjects, but totally limited by any real insight into art.

    John Coplans