PRINT November 1966

“Eccentric Abstraction”

THE FISCHBACH GALLERY OPENED its ’66–’67 season with a solid group show of nine sculptors, all of whom are worth seeing. But like most group shows this one is no exception in begging the question of group exhibi­tions, despite a manifesto and group name (Eccentric Abstraction, provided by Lucy Lippard). Artists do not com­monly arrange themselves in groups any more than sea urchins and star­fish align themselves with the echino­derms. At its most harmless the group show is a piece of innocent connois­seurship (“Seafood I Like”): at its most ambitious it is Linnaean, aiming at isolation of some tendency or clus­ter of tendencies by virtue of which the artists may be said to “play the same game.” This is dangerous––they say that when Linnaeus found some animal that did not conveniently fit into one of his categories he crushed it underfoot. Still, this is what every­body tries for and the

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