PRINT May 1976

Drawing the Line

THE RECENT EXHIBITION “LINE,” organized by Janet Kardon, brought together a group of artists previously dispersed among the ranks of Conceptualists, Earth-workers, painters, sculptors and draftsmen. In doing so, the show identified another skirmish between those age-old artistic antagonists—line and color.

Line points up all the things painting has managed to submerge, overcome or ignore. It puts nasty cracks in painting’s smooth surface, wedges itself rudely between gently blended areas of color, and leaves offensive trails on pristine fields. Lines, to classic color field painting, are an unattractive nuisance.

Color field, in turn, makes line feel ill at ease; it is sensuous, beautiful, has pretty clothes and wears make-up. It attracts lots of admirers. Its insistence on flat expanses cramps line’s style. Line needs space to stretch its legs. When it encounters a flat surface it is happiest

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