PRINT December 2005

Matthew Higgs

1 “ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG: HOARFROSTS” (GUILD HALL, EAST HAMPTON, NY) The saddest summer show ever? Given that institutions tend to roll out holiday favorites or crowd pleasers for the summer season, the Guild Hall’s decision to exhibit Rauschenberg’s little known, rarely seen, and profoundly melancholic “Hoarfrost” series was a bold gesture. Hanging like “ghosts” in the air-conditioned chill of the museum’s elegant rooms, the 1974–75 “Hoarfrosts”—unstretched fabric “paintings” constructed from layers of transparent, translucent, and opaque materials—were so aesthetically subdued that they barely registered on the eye, but somehow, miraculously, they left a nagging, indefinable impression that persists to this day.

2 ROBERT BECHTLE (SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART) This retrospective, brilliantly organized by SF MoMA’s Janet Bishop, was, at least to my non-American eyes, a complete

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