Philip Leider

  • Alex Katz

    Alex Katz exhibits seven large paintings of flowers (tulips, lilies, daisies, etc.) and a group of figurative paintings including several vast “portrait” heads. The style of all the paintings is the familiar one of clear shapes and flat patterning—a decorative, semi-muralesque treatment that has abandoned easel scale but hesitates to claim the wall as its proper reference. One fights the conviction that almost all the paintings would have been better even larger, and painted directly on the walls.

    Within the frame there is compositional drama: the cropping and the close-up compositions of the

  • Otto Piene, Nam Jun Paik, Jack Burnham and more

    The Christmas season was not, perhaps, the most tactful time for an exhibition entitled Festival of Lights at the Howard Wise Gallery. As the gallery version made clear, the real competition was in the streets, and Le Park (Avenue) looked lots better than Le Parc (Julio).

    The exhibition contained over thirty works, international in character, ranging from catastrophically boring light boxes from Brooklyn, to electric flowers from Germany (Otto Piene), to “an authentic antique Japanese scroll adapted to the electric age” (Nam June Paik). It was a dull exhibition, because no one seemed to be

  • American Sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum

    Dusty: How about Pereira?
    Doris: What about Pereira?
    I don’t care.
    Dusty: You don’t care!
    Who pays the rent?
    Doris: Yes, he pays the rent
    Dusty: Well some men don’t and some men do
    Some men don’t and you know who

    Doris: You can have Pereira
    —T. S. Eliot, Sweeney Agonistes

    TWO YEARS AGO ARTFORUM based a special issue (“The New York School”) on the first exhibition Maurice Tuchman prepared for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The show was impressively large, well-cataloged, nicely installed, slightly erratic both in the choices of artists and individual works. Since then, Tuchman has established

  • A New Medium for John Chamberlain

    FOR EVERY GENUINE MOMENT in modern sculpture—such as John Chamberlain’s own crushed-automobile sculptures of the mid-fifties—there are hundreds and hundreds of driftwood vulvas cast in bronze and called Departure. Against this relentless accumulation of insipid imagery there is no defense, perhaps, except parody, and it is to parody that John Chamberlain, during a Los Angeles interlude, has directed his attention.

    Densely cluttering the floor of Los Angeles’ Dwan Gallery during Chamberlain’s recent exhibition were upwards of some two dozen sculptural “forms,” all made out of foam rubber, and

  • Kinetic Sculpture At Berkeley

    “. . . kinetic sculpture must be seen and judged by the continually changing esthetic criteria of form and content.”
    —Peter Selz, catalog preface to “Kinetic Sculpture.”

    OF SOME EIGHTEEN SIZABLE EXHIBITIONS of kinetic art presented during 1965, only four were held in the United States, and at least two of these four contained no work by Americans at all. For his current exhibition, “New Directions in Kinetic Sculpture,” Peter Selz could rustle up barely five Americans among his fourteen participants. The figures reflect the rather naked fact that kinetic sculpture has aroused little interest in

  • Joe Goode and the Common Object

    ONE OF THE EARLY NAMES offered for the movement which was finally called Pop Art was “The New Paintings of Common Objects.” This was the title of an exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1962, which included work by Joe Goode among works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Dine, Edward Ruscha, and others. The careful wording of the title suggests that even then the exhibition’s organizer (Walter Hopps) suspected that while the group held together well enough as a presentation of the new imagery that had been emerging since the very late fifties, careful examination, sooner or later, would

  • Comment

    The following information was released by Dr. Richard F. Brown, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; on November 8, 1965:

    RICHARD FARGO BROWN, DIRECTOR OF the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, through his attorney Louis C. Blau, today regretfully announced his resignation because irreconcilable policy and operational difficulties have developed between the professional staff and the private board of trustees. Brown has chosen to remain with the museum through January, 1966, in order to effect an orderly transition with whomever is to be his successor, and to complete matters in

  • Michael Fried’s 3 American Painters

    Michael Fried, 3 American Painters (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University), 1965. 80 pages. Illustrated.

    THE ORIGINAL SELECTIONS for the exhibition of works by Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski and Frank Stella for which this is the catalog, were made by Michael Fried for the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. When the exhibition opened at Pasadena, however, only the works by Olitski were the same as those shown at Harvard (presumably because there were no Olitskis on the West Coast); for the rest, works by Noland and Stella from local galleries and collections replaced the original selections. The strangeness

  • The New York School in Los Angeles

    AS IS FITTING AND PROPER, the first exhibition of contemporary art organized by the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an extensive, historical presentation of the artists of the New York School the largest of its kind so far organized. Selected by the new Curator of Modern Art, Maurice Tuchman, the exhibition, in a sense, serves notice that few of the future activities of the contemporary wing of the Museum will be truly understandable until the achievement of this group is understood; all modern art, for the foreseeable future, must, in greater measure or less, be seen with reference to

  • Frank Stella

    Born Malden, Mass., 1936.
    Studied painting at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., with Patrick Morgan.
    Studied with William Seitz and Stephen Greene, Princeton University; received BA, 1958.
    Lives in New York City.

    AS MICHAEL FRIED HAS POINTED OUT, the particular formal postulate to which Stella has so far bound himself has been the deduction of the entire picture surface from the shape of the picture support itself; the stripes of Stella’s paintings become a striated surface echoing the shape of the canvas itself. But no sooner do we come to grips with the structural aspects of Stella’s art than

  • Saint Andy

    IT IS YET TOO EARLY TO SPEAK OF A LITERARY MOVEMENT which corresponds to the various post-Abstract Expressionist art movements (as the Beat could be compared to Abstract Expressionism), and almost outrageous to suggest that in Pop Art we may find a feeding-in of sensibility to some of the most actively dissident elements in our society, but there are enough signs of both to perhaps give them early mention. One would suggest only this: that an accent of derision, of an irony which makes the most destructive use of the imagery of commonplace America has been provided to a restless and rebellious

  • Man: Glory, Jest & Riddle, Part III

    TO THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM, proclaimed keeper of the traditions of contemporary art for northern California fell the task of surveying “the use of the human form” in 20th-century art. Mr. George Culler, in another display of the kind of thinking that has made his entire tenure as Director of the Museum a downhill toboggan ride from the reasonable heights to which Dr. Grace Morley, his predecessor, had raised it, evidently decided that his job was simple enough: all he had to do was keep out the abstrac­tions and collect as many paintings with people in them as he could.

    The San Francisco Museum