Adolph Gottlieb

IT IS A MOVING AND ALSO a perturbing thing to suddenly have access to a sufficiently large body of a living artist’s work so that one is able to assess it in its totality and discover aspects one had failed to see, or had seen too easily. Although the sheer size of Adolph Gottlieb’s exhibition—housed in the top two exhibition ramps at the Guggenheim and the fourth floor at the Whitney—inadvertently, I felt, put stress on the weaker aspects of his paintings, one learned from these in invaluable ways, and had, if anything, a heightened awareness of just how substantial and impressive are his talents. Gottlieb’s art is repetitive in a particular way, and because of this my initial reaction was that the exhibition was too large and unselective, permissively so, and would have benefited from editing. However, with the exception of a number of notably weak paintings, the selection did fairly

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