Robert Pincus-Witten

  • Suzi Gablik

    For reasons having little to do with her work, Suzi Gablik’s qualities were not illuminated at the Photographic Image exhibition recently held at the Guggenheim Museum. The delicacy and sensibility of her art was lost in the vast Wright spiral. Although four of her works were shown there (they reappear in the present exhibition) they scarcely made an impression. In the Alan Gallery, however, a room in proper scale relation to the smaller dimensions of her work, one could be struck by Gablik’s command of paint and collage and her literary turn of mind. The close reading of her paintings made

  • “Abstract Inflationists and Stuffed Expressionists”

    Under a buoyant rain of blue balloons, a small group of diverse talents have assembled together at the Graham Gallery. Calling themselves Abstract Inflationists and Stuffed Expressionists their hi-jinks just managed to deflate the real merits of the demonstrators.

    The stuffing—half farce and moitie-farci—holds true of Philip Orenstein and Jean Lindner. Orenstein paints liquitex semaphore signals on the inner lining of transparent vinyl pillows. All hot air. More ambitious, Jean Lindner works in stuffed canvas units like biomorphic paraphrases that roll the unpleasantness of horsehair sofas, the

  • Duayne Hatchett

    Duayne Hatchett, at the Royal Marks Gallery, deals in grim totems. His cleanly forged steel pieces are static, symmetrical along the vertical axis, and look for all the world like the idols of some machine cult. The bodies of Hatchett’s figures—they lend themselves to biomorphic reading despite the artist’s pronounced gift for abstract reduction—are composed of two units, one comprising the head and chest, the other a leg-like base.

    Hatchett favors a constant relationship, namely the circle side by side. The upper unit is frequently based on this double formation, signifying, possibly, eyes,

  • Levinson, Frazier, Evans, and Flavin

    Mon Levinson’s smart moire boxes contribute still more artifacts to the stockpile of Antiques-For-The-Future. Levinson has distinguished himself for some time now by his knowing graphic design cum art-object. Being neither outrageously good nor outrageously bad, but just right, Levinson continues to sell his gifts short. He postpones his Actuality to a quarter century hence when “In People with Responsive Eyes” will undertake the building of a collection of optical art of the Sixties. Any crucial issue that Levinson is more than capable of attacking now will by that time be smoothed over by his

  • Jacqueline Gourevitch

    In the midst of fancy optical tactics, collegiate post-Surrealism, structures of minimal geometry, Jacqueline Gourevitch’s cloud paintings at the Roko Gallery cast cool shadows. While hardly an innovator, Gourevitch is nevertheless an artist of diffident conviction and sensibility, who continues a tradition come down to us from Constable and the English water colorists, with occasional refurbishings at Boudin, at Monet, and the Ruskin “Of The Truth Of Skies.” The list suggests a forthrightness and vigorousness that is not Gourevitch’s stock in trade; a pleinairiste Redon perhaps is the apposite

  • Hugo Robus

    Unlike Lloyd Goodrich, most of us did not know Hugo Robus personally, and are therefore less open to the emotional blackmail that one imagines to have resulted in the catalog essay which accompanies the present Memorial Exhibition at the Forum Gallery. Hugo Robus died in 1964 at the age of 79. The selection of 25 of his works makes it amply clear that Robus’s sculptural contribution was non-existent––that if ever a pasticheur got by on the merits and fame of a single piece (the 1939 Girl Washing Her Hair, in the sculpture collection of the Museum of Modern Art), it was Robus. To say, as Lloyd

  • “The Photographic Image”

    The Photographic Image at the Guggenheim Museum adds a modest footnote to a large body of commentary concerning interrelations between the photograph and the painting. A short while ago Sam Hunter organized a model exhibition on this theme for the Rose Institute at Brandeis University, supplemented with a perspicacious catalog by Van Deren Coke. Lawrence Alloway’s present selection is not as extensive as this survey, focusing, as it does, on only seven figures. Mr. Coke took photography largely to mean the photograph and he instructively displayed the photographic inspiration alongside the

  • Salvador Dalí

    Dalí’s great decade concluded when Hitler hung up the phone. The finest work commemorating those last futile peace talks is the Telephone in a Dish with Three Grilled Sardines at the End of September (1939). In addition to the trials of the Second World War and its aftermath we also have had to put up with the enervating spectacle of a genius squandering his talents. Too bad that Dalí didn’t die (I mean from an art historical point of view) when the receiver was put back on the hook. He would then have left a respectable, organic legacy which moved from Nee-Impressionism through Cubism to the

  • Jasper Johns

    The history of the Abstract Expressionist Reaction, at least at its inception, is generally seen as a polarized dialogue between Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The present exhibition, easily the most important so far of the current season, features four monumental combine paintings by Jasper Johns produced during 1964–1966 and which comprise the essential production of this period. Two of the works were painted in Johns’ Edisto Beach studio in South Carolina, two in New York City. In certain measure the locus of the creation of these works is sensible in the completed work itself. More

  • Charles Hinman

    Retreating from the geometric storm and stress which marked his dramatic entry into the present sculpture scene, Charles Hinman’s recent work is softened by a new lyricism, which at instants, veers dangerously toward the gratuitous arabesque. Frequently, the delicately scored edges of Hinman’s wall reliefs are mutant radial spirals, opening centripetally from disc-like pools. This is the case with a set of smaller works called Sunspots, as well as with Red Scroll

    Hinman’s formal vocabulary is apposite to several contemporary trends and his synthetic powers are so marked and native as to make

  • The English Eye

    The left eye seems to be winking at the young’uns while the right eye, reserved for the veterans, is gray and cataracted. The birth dates that succeed each artist’s name in this review of “The English Eye” at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, are put there to demonstrate something that daily grows more evident—just how good the kids are and how dull the old timers. Not that this situation is absolute or irrevocable. There is some pretty wretched kid-stuff, and the kids themselves will doubtless be supplanted by a next generation (cold comfort). Naturally there are figures who span the years, whose

  • Pierre Bonnard

    Acquavella Galleries show a selection of largely unknown Pierre Bonnards from the Bowers collection (the heirs of Madame Bonnard), part of the tidy parcel excised out of the long-contested Bonnard Estate. The works range from the proto-Art Nouveau of the 1890s through the dazzling late work produced in the last two decades of the master’s life.

    One of the teasing questions connected with Bonnard is, for all his Post-Impressionist carryover, why does he appear so fresh and vital, so contemporary? Certainly today’s art establishment cares not a jot for Intimist props (perhaps with the exception of

  • Billy Apple

    Billy Apple’s rainbows, at the Bianchinni Gallery, are among the most beautiful that hover over the present scene.

    Orphist aureoles, Synchromist apology and prismatic mysticism are all aspects of the rainbow’s quirky career in the 20th century. Kupka and Delaunay were fascinated by rainbows less as natural phenomena than visual theorems. The Synchromist band of Americans spending “Wanderjahren” in Paris and denying affiliation with the Orphists nonetheless came up with analogous theories. Turn of the century initiates in occult mysteries––disenchanted Rosicrucians and Theosophists—elected to

  • Lyman Kipp

    The familiar Lyman Kipp, an elegant variation of Vantongerloo, nice enough in itself, has been updated without being upgraded in this most recent showing at Betty Parsons Gallery. No longer content with de Stijl exercises in the ornamental potentialities of the mere cube (though de Stijl apologists would balk at the word “ornamental”), Kipp has blown scale up to monumental proportions. There is no real sense of the monumental in these Dolmens. Monumentality is after all a larger-than-life appearance, or an experience of that appearance, whether or not it is accompanied by the grandiose physical

  • Marjorie Strider

    The works of Marjorie Strider at the Pace Gallery give evidence of a “fresh and unspoiled” simplemindedness. She has a simple, factual imagination which, in the present exhibition, serves to bludgeon an all too familiar idea to death. The gambit: soft, burpy forms (clouds, for example) which give off one kind of information are superimposed with another order of information, say hard conflicting facts like window ledges. Conversely the soft is superimposed on the hard: rocks in the sea beaten by waves. Sometimes the superimpositions are of the same type—a pictorial projection of a bean pod on

  • Edwin Dickinson

    At least two major currents of American art unite in the work of Edwin Dickinson. On one hand a Whistlerian Impressionism emboldened by Chase, Henri and Hawthorne, and on the other, the intractable factualism epitomized by Eakins. One provides an immediate sensuous outpouring (which in Dickinson resulted in a large body of painting “au premier coup”) and the other a consuming humility before the thing in itself, for portraiture and for parascientific procedure. Like Eakins before him, Dickinson has a passion for perspective.

    Two figure pieces dominate the early selection, Interior (1916) and An

  • Harold Stevenson

    The art of Harold Stevenson, like that of Andy Warhol, is in great part one of collusion between artist and public. The difference of course is that Warhol is a major artist while Stevenson is not. Stevenson’s crippling deficiencies are easier to enumerate than his virtues. Above all else he cannot draw. He is scarcely a colorist, a lack disguised behind merely passable value painting. Sensuous exploration of color, of surface, of facture still evades Stevenson’s reach, although in the present exhibition there has been an improvement along these lines.

    Were these inadequacies all there is to

  • Robert Bart

    At this moment, when precociousness is at a premium, the first major exhibition of an artist in his forties is, in itself, something of an event. If the vision is convincing then the possible defects of a late start are effaced. Robert Bart has made a brilliant entry on the New York sculptural scene at a single stroke. His language of forms is familiar (conceivably influenced by a stint in the Air Force during the Second World War) and is firmly rooted in engineering, our ultimate rationalist refuge. Bart inclines to simple large masses amazingly composed out of a multitude of modular units

  • Joe Raffaele

    Joe Raffaele’s ability to fix the obsessional image of empirical reality is bewildering and, at this moment, entirely unexpected. He makes one think of Gérome or the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, one without the trappings of a sclerotic Neo-Classicism, and the other omitting a Christian Sermon.

    The most unnerving aspect of Raffaele’s work is his refusal to imbed it within an esthetic matrix. Rather, he participates in that esthetic of the absurd animating so great a portion of contemporary art. Yet, Raffaele’s work is as difficult to categorize as are the many nuances of absurdity. Unlike the

  • Jack Youngerman

    Jack Youngerman’s recent paintings rarely go beyond an arresting elegance. His work is large, airy, extremely handsome, but occasionally it aspires to a humanistic ethos which it cannot convincingly sustain (e.g. Elegy for a Guerilla).

    Working within a familiar two-dimensional idiom whose inflections were first those of Arp and then of the much larger twentieth century collage tradition, Youngerman has further sharpened his already keen sense of the figure ground dialogue. The paint has grown thinner, the color more saturated, the brush-stroke more diagonally active, the paint fields (duplicating