New York

Neil Williams

Candace Dwan Gallery

In his first Los Angeles one-man show, Williams shows a group of paintings made between 1963 and 1966. The earlier works use a basic parallelogram-shaped canvas with interior cutouts or sides cut into jagged streamlined directions, and an image structure composed of repeated sets of a single shape (designed to relate to the canvas shape) and to conform to a somewhat mathematical order. These are all of a single color on a contrasting ground.

The more recent pictures assume shapes that are more arbitrary, based upon superimpositions of different sized and angled rectangles. These complex fields are divided by extending edges into the picture and filling in the shapes created by intersecting lines with bright thin color.

The one painting that seems to transcend this highly intellectual approach to structuring a field is the largest and most recent painting, My Sweet Drollop, 1965–66. In this a large horizontal rectangle is intersected by a long, narrow rectangle that tilts away from the lateral plane and extends beyond either end of the larger rectangle. Here, the structure being simplified and properly deduced, one is allowed a concentration on color, weight and the visual impact of a controlled space without dependence on the principles of two-dimensional engineering which tends to dominate the majority of the other paintings.

Don Factor