TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT December 1962/January 1963

LETTERS

Letters

Sir:
You are to be congratulated on the excellent publication you are editing. It fills an enormous void in communication and news for the West Coast artist, while doing so in a tasteful manner. My congratulations for the reproduction and typographic quality and for the stimulat­ing divergence of the critiques

—Eric Ray,
Los Angeles

 

Sir:
You are ignoring your responsibilities. Artforum represents the first possible outlet for the legitimate criticism which West Coast architecture has needed for decades. I am not now referring to the kind of sniper attack featured in one of your previous issues (Volume l, No. 3), but a sustained, reasoned critique of the muddled, slapdash building that takes place at best unopposed and at worst in the midst of plaudits all over the West Coast. San Francisco can now boast a hideous Hall of Justice and a revolting Ping Yuen primarily because there has never been a consistent organ of criticism to educate public opinion to what good architecture can be. Get on the ball, Artforum: there are more than windmills to tilt at!

—Myron Johnson,
San Francisco

 

Sir:
The “Four Drawings” by Richard Diebenkorn in Volume 1, No. 5 are the most exciting things I’ve seen in years . . .

—Joyce Breiman,
San Francisco

 

Sir:
My congratulations to Mr. Donald Clark Hodges for his article “Junk Sculpture: What Does It Mean?” (Volume 1, No. 6). He has managed to pack into the shortest possible space the largest number of clichés out of the sociological jargon mill on record. Hurray for artificially stimulated wants, “hidden persuaders,” “wasteful habits of the Affluent Society,” “poverty in the midst of plenty,” “the schizoid potentialities of our age,” “the present state of disintegration of man,” and all the other scraps and tit bits out of C. Wright Mills, Han­nah Arendt, Gailbraith, Reisman, and the rest of the boys and girls (who think through the ideas and pass the jargon on to people like Mr. Hodges).

When will people stop trying to find explanations for esthetic problems in sociological balderdash?

—S. Behar,
Berkeley

 

Sir:
Has it become a practice of all the better magazines, literary and artistic, to simply string up a line and let all the otherwise interesting people hang their wash on it? The lovers quarrel and ulti­mate reconciliation between Fred Martin and George Culler (Volume l, No. 5) has all the lilt and agony of an eighteenth century minuet.

—A. Al Sanders,
New York

 

Sir:
We read with interest and disappointment your review of “The Construction as an Object of Illusion.” We were interested because we felt the exhibition contained some important new works and some revealing older ones, because we thought that the original concept of the show was a curious and stimulating one, and because we wanted to know what you thought about it all. We were disappointed because your immediate dismissal of the concept as incomprehensible led to your conversion of the theme of the show to William Seitz’ Assemblage one, which this show was not.

The exhibition was the first in a projected series of shows organized by tile Artists’ Council of the Institute to try to present new developments or ideas in art which have received heretofore insufficient notice. An adequate review of such an exhibition demands a careful study of its organizing theme and tile practicability of its presentation in exhibition. Taking these into account and explaining them to an audience most of whom can never see the show itself, the reviewer may go on to bless and damn the exhibition itself. Next time, then, do take into account what the show is, before criticizing it for what it is.

But further, thanks for the thoughtful and perceptive appraisal of the individual pieces in the exhibition.

—Fred Martin,
Executive Secretary,
San Francisco
Roy de Forest,
Chairman, Artists’ Council