Joseph Masheck

  • Le Corbusier

    Charles Edouard Jeanneret, called Le Corbusier, was surely one of the greatest architects in the history of that art. Even his stupendous state funeral in the courtyard of the Louvre in 1965 was a milestone in the record of public respect for modern art. Le Corbusier was, of course, primarily an architect and to judge him on any other grounds would be like calling Picasso to task for a fairly slack career as a sculptor. But he was always interested in the plastic arts and he painted and drew all the time. At lectures given in America he even painted and drew while he talked. He had a sculptural

  • Gene Davis

    The Fischbach Gallery is showing six large paintings by Gene Davis, two of which have been previously exhibited, four of which are new. The two earlier paintings hang in the downtown Fischbach in SoHo—Satan’s Flag, which has been shown at the Newark Museum, and Saratoga Springboard, which appeared at the London Fischbach in the Spring of 1970. All the works are large, long canvases covered completely with vertical stripes, although the nature of these stripes has changed. Two of the works are so long that they have required two immense stretchers apiece, although the join is not in the center

  • Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins’ biggest difficulty is that we cannot look at his paintings and not think that Morris Louis’ are better. In both, pigment is spilled onto the virgin canvas; in both, the control of the result involves the careful handling of the canvas itself as much as the paint. But the works of Jenkins have, by comparison, always wound up looking too pictorial or even too graphic-designed. This is because Jenkins’ forms can so often be read as motifs fixed onto an inert ground, like butterflies pinned to mounts. Or else, when they do seem spatial, the space seems inappropriately illusionistic.

  • Edward Moses

    Edward Moses has eight recent paintings and five drawings at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. The paintings, because they are composed of colored lines and because they are concerned with the extent of the rectangular format, in some respects touch on Gene Davis’ concerns. But they touch on them much more lightly. There is an oriental delicacy in these limp, unstretched canvas hangings which blanket areas of wall like tapestries.

    The lines seem to be made by snapping the pigment off a tight string, which introduces a kind of Eastern simplicity and makeshiftness that is not unlike William Wiley’s elegantly

  • Jann Haworth

    Somewhere out in the swamps at edge of the island of art Jann Haworth presides over a little kingdom all her own. She makes compulsive, “heavy” dolls and constructions which actually seem to seek out weirdness and bizarrerie. But the result has about as much significance as neo-Victorian toyshop decoration (many of the properties here are in fact supplied by Secondhand Rose).

    I have observed Haworth’s misunderstanding of the relation of camp to Pop before (Studio International, November, 1968), and there is no progress to report now. The accompanying photograph, showing three of her fairy dolls

  • A Better World in Birth

    Why worship the new as a god compelling submission merely because it is “new”? Nonsense! Bosh and nonsense!
    —Lenin1

    What a fascinating thing is the history of art!
    —Lenin2

    KARL MARX WAS NEVER what the British Museum catalogue, at a loss for a word, describes as a “writer on art.” But he did write a great deal about men making things, and there is a sense in which the Constructivist outburst in Russia at the time of the Revolution might have been an apt, if not implicit, outcome of his thought. For in Marx’s view a distinguishing feature of human work is, so to speak, its material idealism. Labor

  • Allan D’Archangelo

    Allan D’Archangelo’s recent Constellation paintings, at the Marlborough Gallery, consist of striped, beamlike forms which are the abstract residue of the traffic barricades and dashed highway dividing lines of his Pop American road landscapes of the 1960s. These forms (which also relate to works by other Pop artists, such as Wayne Thiebaud’s Candy Cane, 1965) are compounded in space-generative clusters which are in turn flattened out patternistically.

    The road pictures carried a heavy load of American—not just Pop—romance. From Whitman to Frost to Kerouac, and beyond to Easy Rider, Five Easy

  • Peter Saul

    Like D’Archangelo, Peter Saul comes out of the Pop Art scene; he too is attempting to develop his Pop materials into something else—in Saul’s case a kind of blasting, bombardiering, socially relevant funk. At the Allan Frumkin Gallery during November he showed three groups of paintings, all about equally hysterical and iconoclastic.

    In Saul’s famous Saigon (Whitney Museum), a horrors-of-war extravaganza with an anti-hokey edge to it, the embodiment of hatred and anxiety seemed justified; in fact, the utter offensiveness of it (as in Guernica) had a decorous appropriateness. Now, however, in the

  • Bernar Venet

    The complete nonworks of a French nonartist can be seen in a show called the Five Years of Bernar Venet at the New York Cultural Center. Venet practices—or practiced—a dilettantish monkeying with “information theory,” starting in 1966 and ending, as previously announced, at the age of 30 in 1971. The whole career was an attempt to be swingingly cybernetic, but now that we can look back we see that it was hardly serendipitous.

    It is amusing that radical revisionists so often come up with ideas that are pseudo-intellectual recapitulations of aspects and fringe benefits of established university

  • Frank Roth

    A group of recent paintings by Frank Roth is on view at the Martha Jackson Gallery until October 16th. They seem rather deliberately unlovely, as though the painter were carefully testing some notion of Ehrenzweig’s about art as the defeat of esthetic expectation. The works consist of a dark, inky field with patches of color interrupting this ground and distributed fairly closely across the picture surface, bleeding off the edges. The actual patches which do this interrupting seem at first like brushstrokes, but brushstrokes copied or imitated, as though the neural immediacy of the single stroke

  • Mike Bakaty

    Some half a dozen new works by the sculptor Mike Bakaty were on view at the Paley and Lowe Gallery during late September and early October, six unique works and two works in multiple editions. All are made of clear fiberglass, in the following way: a piece of canvaslike cloth is drenched in a resin and shaped in the desired fashion, and then the resin acts chemically to change the entirety into a modeled piece of solid fiberglass. There may be an analogy with painting—when you put pigment on a canvas it changes into a picture—but the sense of fix and arrest here is more to the point. And because

  • Modigliani

    Modigliani was the first painter who turned me off. Suffice it to say that at whatever age I saw my first Modigliani I was artificially traumatized. I still think Modigliani weak, easy, shamelessly mannered, and irredeemably bourgeois. He seems to have the lowest IQ of any modern artist except Rousseau (who loved beauty) or Chagall (who at least looks like he enjoyed painting). The only thing by him I have ever liked or respected is a beautiful figure drawing owned by Columbia University, which is well-knit and done with verve. Otherwise I have so unwaveringly disliked Modigliani that whenever