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Problems of Polychromy: Michael Bolus

TWO OF THE THREE recent sculptures by Michael Bolus on view at London’s Waddington Gallery engage with problems of color and in particular of polychromy, the use of more than one color in a single piece. The issue of polychromy for modern abstract sculpture might have been raised by the work of David Smith but wasn’t, probably because both choice and application of color remained throughout his, career the least resolved and therefore least generally significant features of his art. Polychromy as a general concern became felt during the sixties, mainly in response to Caro’s early steel pieces, which demonstrated as never before the potential, as well as something of the difficulty, of color as a resource for sculpture. Within the past several years Olitski’s adaptation of the sprayed color of his paintings to sculptural ends has produced works of great strength and originality. While in

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