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

  • Edward Dugmore

    Edward Dugmore has been painting in what is recognizably an Abstract Expressionist mode for about fifteen years. His current show is distinguished by highly personal draftsmanship that carries his work beyond nostalgia. Dugmore’s line is scratchy, drippy and sure. With brush or crayon, he limns in rounded, crotchy female forms. Buttocks, breasts and hips butt against each other like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The drawing is vigorous. Sometimes aloft, sometimes sagging, it gives the gross forms a feeling of inflated weightlessness. When line dominates, as in two or three larger can-vases of 1970 that

  • Nancy Graves

    It becomes clear from Nancy Graves’ current show at Reese Palley that the camels were a way-station for her. They enabled the artist to move away from the art going on around her and into unique visual territory where she can now work with tremendous facility, control of materials and imagination to create art of extreme originality. So it’s good to see the camels go, bones and all. They were too close to the meticulous model-making of the Museum of Natural History to declare themselves apart from that craft—even though in declaring them her art took courage and strength of conviction.

    In her

  • Keith Hollingworth

    Keith Hollingworth’s sculpture at Paula Cooper is more circumscribed in this respect than Graves’ is. It depends more on the power of a specific image than on the open-ended evocation of Graves’ work. It counts on incongruity for its impact: the unexpected introduction of real objects from nature (pine cones, feathers) set in cleanly constructed wooden boxes and frames. His pieces seem to exist in the imagination, much as Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel did, rather than in three-dimensional space. The artist emphasizes this quality of immateriality by painting his wood and metal frames white or some

  • G. E. Moore

    G. E. Moore has a lot of ideas, but hasn’t had the opportunity to work enough of them through in physical actuality to get a sure grip on his materials. There are sensations he would like his sculpture to convey: of force so precariously’ balanced that a palpable feeling of physical threat or potential danger is created. But he has been stymied by difficulties in the execution of his proposed pieces in a real space, and these problems interfere with the impact of his work.

    Walking into the first room at O.K. Harris, the viewer is confronted by a long strip of black rubber stretching from ceiling

  • Ken Price

    Ken Price’s humor gets its ceramic mileage from a perverse play on precious bric-a-brac collected by maiden aunts everywhere. His current show at the David Whitney Gallery is of small objects that look like Tiffany-colored turds. They are small piles of clay set on grandiose, impeccably crafted wooden bases that could be Formica but aren’t. Their color, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, is most reminiscent of the sheen on putrescent flesh. They are in exquisite bad taste.

    —Kasha Linville

  • Resurrection

    The current show of black artists’ work at the Studio Museum in Harlem is so diverse that it is impossible to discuss in terms of visual cohesion. The show, which fills both galleries in the Museum, includes every kind of imagery—works patterned on African themes and techniques, familiar experiments in various styles of 20th-century American and European art and explicit propaganda. Few works stand alone as products of strongly developed artistic sensibilities.

    What the exhibition does reveal are some of the many ways black artists are struggling to define their identities both as artists and as

  • Lee Lozano

    A group of eleven paintings by Lee Lozano in the small, main-floor gallery of the Whitney Museum is disturbing. Called “wave series paintings,” they emit a feeling of compulsive, systematic control, short-circuited somehow so the resulting works are curiously idiosyncratic. All but the last four paintings in the group appear as meticulously brushed curves painted in murky oils. The complex mind-dance about electromagnetic wave theory that accompanies them via a group of explanatory drawings does not mitigate their oppressive decorativeness, nor does the amount of physical ordeal involved in

  • Mell Daniel

    Mell Daniel’s small drawings in watercolor, grease crayon and inks are the work of an older artist whose first period of intense artistic activity occurred during the second and third decades of the century. His first one-man show of drawings was sponsored by the Arensbergs and held in De Zayas’ gallery in New York City. Although the recent drawings have a certain somber attractiveness, their interest is primarily historical. This is an artist whose vision developed when American artists were making their first experiments in abstraction. These drawings are still firmly grounded in an older way