Critics’ Picks

View of “One More,” 2009. Foreground: Dove Bradshaw, Negative Ions II, 1996. Background from left: Cordy Ryman, Yellow and Red Stack 2008; Robert Ryman, Untitled #2, 1965.


“One More”

Thomas Rehbein Galerie
Aachener Straße 5
January 17–February 28, 2009

In making his 1964 work BLACKPLANEBLACKPLANEBLACKPLANEBLACK, Carl Andre repeated this sequence of words in twenty-one lines on a sheet of paper until the text formed a compact cube, as a reference to Malevich’s black squares. To draw attention away from the original, Andre also made a carbon copy of the work and, third and finally, a photocopy, which is the version typically displayed in exhibitions. This small piece confronts pure forms and writing as pictorial material, but it also functions as a means to link strategies of Minimal and Conceptual art, to which this exhibition, curated by New York sculptor Dove Bradshaw, is devoted. In addition to Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #134, 1972, and Robert Ryman’s small canvas Untitled #2, 1965, which features broad horizontal bands of white paint, the show consists of several recent works. William Anastasi’s Action Drawing was created in 2007 when the artist stood on a ladder and repeatedly dropped a pencil attached to a string on paper. Cordy Ryman’s light yellow wooden stick is composed of several individually painted pieces of wood; it leans against the wall in one corner of the gallery. Other works include Merrill Wagner’s 2007 works of rust paint on steel and Marcia Hafif’s timeless Glaze Paintings, which were created in 2003 and 2005 by the octogenarian artist. In the late 1960s, Minimal and Conceptual art broke traditions; this exhibition illustrates that contemporary artists can still accomplish such a monumental task if, paradoxically, by means of tradition.