Lisa Liebmann

  • David Salle

    Two of the twenty-one paintings shown by David Salle here loomed large in this three-gallery show of the artist’s work over the last two years. Both follow Salle’s most characteristic diptych format and grab-bag deployment of Modern allusions, are possessed of an easy, spoiled beauty (cold with the sense of lost innocence), and are utterly, self-consciously sentimental. Titled The Monotonous Language and We’ll Shake the Bag, the first has for its primary focus a gynecological perspective of the nude, and the second is of nudes in situ, under bedsheets. Both paintings are also quite small. Salle’s

  • Mario Merz

    Mario Merz’s most recent exhibition in New York suggested concept fatigue and a certain loss of faith. Since he became known in Europe during the mid-’60s along with others associated with Arte Povera, Merz has constructed his art from a belief whose deities are a concrete materiality and an abstract, ethics-imbued organizing principle. This principle has developed in an additive way according to an expansive blueprint for which Kurt Schwitters’ never-completed Merzbau provides a structural paradigm, and whose “rooms” are filled with Jungian echoes, Fibonacci’s 13th-century mathematical model

  • Anselm Kiefer

    The breadth and ambition of his vision, the operatic themes, the obsession with territory, the materials, the utter wilfulness in his sense of mission place the art of Anselm Kiefer at a turbulent point between latter-day earthworks and the oratorical landscapes and histories of, say, J.M.W. Turner. Kiefer is very much a painter—essentially a painter of landscapes, a fact that is evident in the composition and physicality of surface in virtually every piece in this fair-sized exhibition, in a smaller one here last year, and in two recent, extensive ones at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and at

  • Georg Baselitz

    Georg Baselitz’ “upside-down” paintings have lately engendered some peculiar critical responses in this country, for different reasons than they have in Germany. Several New York publications have summarily dismissed Baselitz on the grounds of this “conceit” or “gimmick” of his: a glib parallel was made to the art-school cliché of turning paintings upside down “the better to see their form”; one critic admitted to virtually standing on her head in the gallery and came up with the conclusion that the work was “less interesting’ seen from that angle. If the German ”national character“ has typically

  • Martin Silverman

    Martin Silverman’s sculpture is positioned at the cutting edge of a peculiarly American morality. His human figures, modeled in clay, cast in bronze with patinas, are always shown in action and have the earthbound, clubby look that our popular culture has deemed fit for prototypes of national innocence: the baggy-suited men in Frank Capra movies, Gene Kelly’s sailors, the figures in WPA bas-reliefs. But Silverman manages to subvert our expectations of public propriety without attempting to subvert the innocence of his subjects.

    Eden is a little girl in pigtails and dress, sitting in a typically

  • Jim Dine

    Jim Dine once admitted to having been the lightweight among Pop artists. By disengaging from them early on, he freed himself to develop his anecdotal, soft-core artfulness into a cozy and productive little industry. Dine’s sensibility, sentimental and fundamentally middlebrow, lends itself well to prosaic imagery or to the offhand elegy, but strains when heavily freighted with emotional intensity.

    The New Yorker recently ran a cartoon of a gallery opening where the artist tells a middle-aged couple, “Frankly, in the beginning I had to struggle against a tendency in my work toward the banal. Then

  • Charles Gaines

    Charles Gaines, who has received little critical attention over the last decade, is a loopy, poetically inclined conceptualist whose graphs and grids and “purposeless” mathematics thinly mask a passion for the illogical. As Navajo rugmakers always weave a deliberate imperfection into their geometric patterns (anti-hubris), Gaines includes random elements as part of his process. His systems, as he puts it, “do not show that tie reality of the universe is order, they simply show that the reality of the universe is not the metaphor.”

    Some months ago Gaines asked Trisha Brown to dance for him, which

  • Donald Judd

    It is not so much a period of Mannerism that we are seeing in the arts as one that bears some resemblance to the Reconstruction era, complete with carpetbaggers, furious enterprise, fast luck, and sudden switches—reason enough to question any sense of elation at seeing recent work by an imposing and steadfast Minimalist like Donald Judd. But Judd’s giant new sculpture of plywood stacks was his most comprehensive, fluent work to date, and one that demonstrated just about every structural theme he ever devised with a magnanimity that he has not before seemed motivated or interested by.


  • Trisha Brown Company

    Trisha Brown’s choreography has long pursued the kinds of structuring possibilities which have compelled Donald Judd: accumulating patterns: the establishment of rhythm and character (both of design and of dancers) through serial repetition of what appears to be simple, affectless motion. She too has developed earlier atavistic forms to a new expansiveness. Until now, for instance, she has largely avoided music to preclude associative colorations; that she commissioned Robert Ashley to score Son of Gone Fishin’ indicates that, like Judd, she is in consummate control of her technique and her