Kermit Champa

  • “Charlie Was Like That”

    In my painting of Orchids which Charlie did—the one called Pink Lady Slippers [1918] he was interested in the similarity between the forms of the flowers and the phallic symbol, the male genitals. Charlie was like that.
    —William Carlos Williams, quoted in Emily Farnham, Charles Demuth, Behind A Laughing Mask

    CHARLES DEMUTH’S GREATEST AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY, John Marin, was unique in passing through the first third of the century in America with serene, almost sublime, sensuous and pictorial self-confidence, working in a boldly conceived—yet highly unique landscape style derived somewhat randomly

  • Miró

    IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO ARGUE that Joan Miró’s paintings, whether recent or distant in vintage, constitute much of an unknown to the art public of any cosmopolitan city in Western Europe or in the United States. Of Miró’s peers in this century probably only Matisse and Picasso have been exhibited as routinely in so many places for so many years, but the historical rhythm of Miró exhibitions in New York (culminating in two organized recently by the Guggenheim Museum and the Acquavella Gallery) has been particularly regular in its frequency and generous in its character. New York has honored Miró

  • New Work of Helen Frankenthaler

    HELEN FRANKENTHALER’S RECENT SHOW at Emmerich did relatively little either to enhance or to blemish her reputation as one of the most consistently “interesting” painters currently active in this country. To say that her work has been and continues to be “interesting” is not to imply faint praise, but rather to suggest that her achievements have, as often as not, been critical rather than truly pictorial in nature, and that this very much remains the case.

    For over a decade Helen Frankenthaler has presented herself as a maker of predominantly color-oriented paintings. Yet, either for fear of

  • New Paintings by Darby Bannard

    THE SIX PAINTINGS THAT Darby Bannard will show in New York this fall provide some of the most challenging color experiences in recent memory. In them, as in so much of Jules Olitski’s work over the past three years, the circumstances under which color is made to operate have become permissive, even random, when compared to the accepted limits of the flat or stained color painting that was qualitatively dominant in America during the first half of the present decade.

    Bannard is certainly not the first painter to explore the domain of texturally re-enforced color, nor is his actual manner of

  • New Paintings by Larry Poons

    OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS Larry Poons’s work has been one of the most dependable, not to say predictable, quantities in American painting. Although development of a sort has taken place during this time the autographic clots or lozenges of color, guided by barely visible grid lines across a contrasting color field, have remained in force as the primary agents of Poons’s pictorial ambitions.

    The “look” of a Poons, the particular way in which it confronts the viewer, has been equally consistent. Working with greater or lesser degrees of optical contrast between the colors of the dots and the color

  • Recent British Paintings at the Tate

    THE TATE GALLERY’S DECEMBER EXHIBITION of recent British paintings from the collection of the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation provided an excellent opportunity for studying and evaluating at least one side of England’s movement during the past ten years toward the center stage of contemporary artistic developments. For those of us in the United States who have followed artistic events in England from a distance and seen their products in isolated (and often fragmentary) form, this exhibition was part revelation, part disappointment.

    In terms of individual paintings or painters the exhibition contained

  • Ingres Centennial in Paris

    “Talent avare, cruel, colereux, et souffrant, mélange singulier de qualités contraires, toutes mises au profit de la nature, et dont I’étrangeté n’est pas un des moindres charmes;—flamand dans l’execution, individualite et naturaliste dans le dessin, antique par ses sympathies et idéaliste par raison.”
    —Baudelaire, Salon de 1846

    IN THE THIRD MAJOR EXHIBITION of Ingres’s work this year, the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs has filled a substantial part of the Petit Palais with a group of paintings and drawings, representing all phases of the artist’s long, productive career. Generally speaking,

  • New Paintings by Albert Stadler

    Unity, hopefully, is to be achieved not so much by singleness of approach or style or method or by meticulous difference, but by the over-all color experience (regardless of variations or looseness of handling) and the spirit of the work.
    —Stadler, 1966

    THE VARIETY OF DEVELOPMENTS within the general context of American color painting has, over the past two years, been remarkable, to say the least. The hyper-defined, stained intervals of color and shape that achieved expressive heights in the work of Louis, Noland and Olitski (in his works prior to late 1965) no longer seem to dictate a unique