Kasha Linville

  • Sonsbeek: Speculations, Impressions

    THIS WAS A SHOW THAT became radical in spite of itself. Rumored to feel cramped by his curatorial situation at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Wim Beeren left in 1970 to take over the organization of the Sonsbeek exhibition, a tri-annual show held in an 18th-century formal park in Arnhem. Like many Europeans, Beeren lacks taste in the sense of fully apprehending the art he is dealing with; but he does sense where the action is. His lack of discrimination, coupled with the desire to make this show an encyclopedia of the most recent art, turned the “Sonsbeek 71” exhibition into an incongruous

  • Agnes Martin: An Appreciation

    AGNES MARTIN IS NOW 59 years old. She has produced work of such delicacy and strength, toughness and loveliness, that it seems strange people are still discovering her for the first time, coming upon one of her canvases and being surprised by the magnitude of the talent that produced it. They are even more surprised when they look further and discover not one but many great canvases, not only paintings but drawings with the beauty of fragile insects, and objects as well all conveying exquisite power.

    Although she had been painting for thirty years, she did not have her first one-man show until

  • Ronald Bladen, Robert Hudson, Jim Dine, and Allan Hacklin

    I must admit my reaction to ROBERT HUDSON’s recent sculpture at the Allan Frumkin Gallery was one of visual confusion linked with a sense of aggressive, almost nasty tastelessness. The works in this show—with the exception of one piece, Whip—evaded orderly experience. It was as if Hudson were playing a medley of hit tunes with humor and style, but stopping each melody and going on to the next just short of your recognition of what he was playing.

    No artist has to be consistent, but the variety of materials and manners in these pieces was overwhelming. Steel, polyvinyl, wood, concrete, clay . .

  • Jo Baer

    Twelve paintings by Jo Baer suspend time and create their own silence at the gallery of the School of Visual Arts. These are early paintings done in 1962–63. Their basic format is simple: a six-foot white square echoed by black bands about four inches wide, placed several inches in from the outer edge of the canvas. A narrow blue border rims the inside edge of the black on all sides except the top. Variation in the paintings occurs at the top, where blue banding is used in simple patterns that create surprisingly strong differences in the feel of each canvas. The black band also fluctuates in

  • Rosemarie Castoro

    The desire to command three-dimensional space is not enough to do it, nor is mere energy sufficient to create dynamic drawings, nor does making drawings eight feet high on curved screens automatically turn them into sculpture. There are too many assumptions in the works of Rosemarie Castoro that only rarely become operational. Her freestanding “walls” claim space but actually occupy it, according to their premises, in only one case.

    The pieces in her show at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery are constructed either of hinged masonite panels supported by a grid of two by twos, or of hollow-core doors.

  • Gary Kuehn

    Gary Kuehn’s sculpture at the Fischbach Gallery is as elusive and gestural as drawing. His means are so unassuming that the work is almost mute. Four small pieces in the show each invoke a linear, curving motion. They are no more than two or three feet at their tallest, and three or four feet at the widest. They are made of rusted C-clamps, pieces of iron pipe, an iron wheel rim, an open-ended box welded together of rusty iron, and aluminum bands or flashing. The aluminum is strapped around the iron forms and held by the clamps. The strips are raised slightly so they cast shadow reflections of

  • Frank Owen

    Frank Owen submitted himself to a gimmick in his paintings. He has evolved a complex means of creating aurora borealis-like bands of many colors by partially mixing viscous acrylic pigment so that discrete colors still show when the paint is poured and spread slowly on canvas. The effect is reminiscent of the marbled interiors of old book covers. It is often very beautiful, but so domineering that Owen has difficulty conveying much beyond it. He does attempt to change the look of his paintings by varying the colors from strident combinations using a lot of white to predominantly black mixes. In

  • William T. Williams

    William T. Williams’ new paintings at Reese Palley are filled with such wild, angry energy, they look like Frank Stella nightmares. Williams is trying to get away from the strong, superficial resemblances his imagery and technique have to Stella’s, but the white-bordered, intensely colored, mechanical-drawing shapes still appear to be takeoffs on Stella. Now, pearlized paint, Looney Tunes color, serpentine squiggles, tooth-like small triangles, all work to change the look of the paintings.

    There is most action in the largest, latest painting in the show, a group of eight panels, four of them

  • Manny Farber

    There are no apparent loose ends to jar the initial impression of refined color and texture in Manny Farber’s paintings at O.K. Harris. They appear very smooth at first with no gaucheries that might yield new discoveries. Farber builds his paint surfaces out of brown kraft paper, joined together with paper tape. He coats the paper heavily on both sides with acrylic to preserve and stiffen it, a process that gives it the feel of heavy parchment. The works are small enough (approximately 6 by 8 feet) to be encompassed by the viewer, rather than enveloping him. Most of the paintings are non-rectangular.

  • Harvey Quaytman

    Harvey Quaytman is more hopelessly hung up in the mystique of shaping than Manny Farber. His paintings have almost relinquished their claim to sculptural relief, but they are still dogged by the characteristic squared-off ‘U’ shape he has attempted to mobilize for at least two years. About a year ago, he almost succeeded—by stretching the ‘U’ into a long, lazy band with real texture on its surface and dull, earthy coloring. Now it is shoved as an afterthought against the bottom of rectangular canvases to which it bears only an artificial structural relationship: the adjoining lower edge of each

  • Murray Reich

    A repeated emblem doesn’t have to go flat as it has for Quaytman. Variations within a familiar context can be made to matter. Rothko, end Morris Louis in his “Unfurleds” succeeded. And Murray Reich is beginning to infuse some of his huge, icon-like paintings with visual dynamism. The central, phallic form he has painted for several years is still too dominant to allow increasing activity on the sides of his canvases to participate fully, but it is beginning to.

    In his show at Max Hutchinson, the central image has changed from a strip-poured reflection on blank canvas, overly reminiscent of Louis,

  • Laddie John Dill

    Laddie John Dill’s first one-man show of sculpture at Sonnabend suffers from finesse. It includes three light pieces on the wall and two works on the floor that use sand, light and glass. Dill started as a painter and he is still preoccupied with qualities associated with painting. He learned about artificial light sources when lighting his earlier paintings and has now come up with argon gas tubes whose differently coated sections create multicolored bands of light. He uses them in simple wall pieces intended as straight color trips. The color is more refined and delicate than any I’ve seen