Kasha Linville

  • John Altoon

    Pen, ink and airbrush drawings from the “Cowboys and Indians” series by the late John Altoon, an artist with a considerable underground reputation as a draftsman among artists on the West Coast, are epic, erotic fantasies about Indians, cowboys and colonial ladies whose wit and beautiful calligraphy make them exceptionally entertaining. The imagery swings from inventive whimsy to violence—all paradoxically dried out by his fast-moving pen. There’s no violence in the sex, only in the surrounding events. Gentle, bizarre pleasures take place amidst murder and destruction. In a few drawings, the

  • Mary Heilmann and Joan Snyder

    A handsome new space called the Paley and Lowe Gallery has opened downtown on Wooster Street. Its owners plan to sponsor group shows in the gallery space and give access to the artists’ work in their studios as well. The premise—that group shows can induce enough interest in individual artists to encourage further investigation of their works in their studios—is a questionable one, Its fault lies in the selective process involved in group shows, where work is chosen that will look “nice” in the gallery, instead of for its toughness or representativeness. Unfortunately, it’s impossible not to

  • Sharon Brandt

    Sharon Brandt’s canvases at O.K. Harris are demanding and complex works as well. For Brandt, in contrast to Joan Synder, less is more.These are sparse paintings in terms These are sparse paintings in terms terms of impact, because their surface has been mobilized so effectively with minimal means. The artist works with the premise of an exquisite, almost colorless texture created by using a polyester resin to stain the canvas. She then strives to toughen the atmospheric image by the incorporation of a few lines, placed as compositional organizers on or under the translucent resin.

    Line and surface

  • Gary Hudson

    For Gary Hudson, more is not more but visual obfuscation. There is so much going on in his canvases, it ’s hard to see what is really happening. The major visual problem in these paintings is the relationship , or lack of it, between large floating rectangular shapes and the heavily textured areas that surround them. The discontinuity between texture and forms is exacerbated rather than alleviated by sprayed halos around the forms that disengage them even further from their surroundings, allowing them to float freely out in front of the canvas surface.

    These are truly schizophrenic paintings.

  • Benny Andrews

    Benny Andrews’ art is true to itself. Andrews seems to follow no canons of visual selection besides those that originate within his own experience—as an artist who reached maturity when Abstract Expressionism was in its heyday, as a black man in America, plus a good deal of native stubbornness about not just doing what’s expected of him. His work runs the gamut from delicate line drawings through epical murals to elaborate collage statues and groups of figures.

    There are strong elements of abstraction in his composition, use of color and almost Cubist, schematic rendering of forms. His forms are

  • Robert Mangold

    Robert Mangold’s work is becoming more subtle and more problematic. He is focusing down on fewer specific visual issues in a manner that is increasingly explicit and at the same time still ambiguous. He was previously involved, albeit in a very low key, with the problems implied by shaped paintings and modulated color, i.e. the action of wall area as ground that occurs with shaped works and the ambiguity of surface that subtly graded color creates. In his most recent work, he has retained vestiges of wall/work interaction but is concentrating now on the interaction of drawn line and framing

  • Antonio Tapies

    Antonio Tapies’ show at Martha Jackson is peculiarly frustrating. This Spanish artist can create surfaces of incredible beauty out of plaster, cinders, etc.; mark them with his fingers or his feet or a stick in mysterious ways that effectively draw the eye right into them for a rich helping of texture—and then fuss them up with some small, precious details—just enough to kill their aggressive splendor and make them, in the end, self-consciously “works of Art” rather than the magic presences they started out to be.

    —Kasha Linville

  • John Griefen

    John Griefen’s show at Kornblee is another exercise in frustration, but for different reasons. Griefen doesn’t start with strong art and then weaken it. Instead, he pours and splashes and hopes that, with considerable cropping, his unprogrammatic outpouring of inspiration in faintly mawkish acrylic will result in strong paintings. It does not. The canvases are murky and unresolved, leaving a viewer with no memory of image or atmosphere—except possibly the rather nice effect of several blank spots on the paintings where paint did not fall. They flicker like holes into the muddy pigment or bright

  • John Duff

    The idea that contemporary art follows a linear development, that there is a discernible mainstream from season to season, seems even more a figment of critical and dealer imagination this fall than usual. There is a feeling of uncertainty in New York now about what art ought to be––induced partly by the art community’s abortive effort at political activism last spring, and more significantly by the sense that it is a time of real flux and shifting relevance for all the participants in the art game: artists, dealers, critics and museum curators. The work of an artist like John Duff whose imagery

  • Ray Johnson

    Ray Johnson, collagist, has let the public in on his private pun and continuous happening, the New York Correspondence School, via a small show in the main floor gallery of the Whitney Museum. Johnson’s meticulous, nostalgic collages have been seen in galleries since the mid ’60s. Although his collages are minor, his Correspondence School is a novel inspiration that has entertained its members for a decade or more. Johnson has been fascinated by the way objects move through the mails since he sent for his first cereal box premiums as a child. He began by mailing select detritus to a few friends

  • Victoria Barr

    A number of younger painters are presently investigating acrylic as a medium. Various experiments with staining and pouring abound. Flaccid, rainbow-pretty work often results. One technique that is yielding some effective painting is that of working acrylics on wet canvas, on a wet ground, like watercolor. Watercolor is tricky enough; there are additional risks with acrylics because they react unexpectedly as the various pigments spread and mix with each other when applied in wet layers.

    A problem that often occurs is compositional. For those artists who allow distinct forms to coalesce––rather

  • Chicago Group

    Unfortunately, the show of thirteen Chicago artists at Feigen downtown almost defeats itself. Intended to acquaint New York viewers with the expressive, fantastic art of a group of young painters affiliated with the Hyde Park Art Center, it creates visual confusion instead. There are too many styles to assimilate at once, given the aggressive quality and dense detail of the works.

    On initial impact the show has the cornball bite of a bad souvenir tapestry or a flowered linoleum rug. Colors are deliberately garish, reminiscent of ’30s movie posters and fluorescent marquees. Imagery, often

  • John Freeman

    John Freeman’s blood systems are revolting without purpose. They use a guaranteed shock device––real blood––without justification in terms of a special message conveyed by its presence. Everyone is horrified by the sight of blood; that’s no revelation. In fact, most people are so horrified that any more sophisticated content attached to a piece in the form of political or ecological commentary is totally obscured by the viewer’s simple negative response.

    Apparently, Freeman came to Reese Palley’s director with a set of plans for the proposed machines. The director liked the idea on paper and told