reviews

  • Bridget Riley

    Richard Feigen Gallery

    As early as the 1920s, in the workshops of the Bauhaus, students and masters experimented with the dual potential of black-white design elements. These, they found, would affirm and hold the flatness of the ground that supported them, since that very ground would be incorporated into the surface pattern of the work; in addition a richly shifting spatiality developed in which, as an example, Bauhaus white letters would jump off the page in strong relief against their black-cast shadows, but could alternately be read as concave forms etched into the fictive depth of the paper. All this was

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  • Morris Louis

    Andre Emmerich Gallery

    In the ongoing at tempts to chronicle the work of the late Morris Louis, a whole range of critics and historians seem to have fixed on a characterization of his sensibility as fin de siecle. In one of the first articles to categorize Louis’s art in this way, Robert Rosenblum speaks of the “languid, expansive beauty that newly evokes the exquisite hothouse atmosphere of the most precious Art Nouveau gardens,” (Art International VII, December 1963) and moves from this association to a reading of the paintings themselves (works from the period 1958–60) totally by means of romantic, vitalist metaphors.

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  • Chryssa

    Pace Gallery

    Whether in the mammoth 10-by-10 feet “The Gates to Times Square,” or in the small scale 13-by-11 inches “Ampersand” series, Chryssa’s neon vocabulary clings to what she seems to feel are its rightful origins in the script of commercial signs. Thus the organization of the “Gates” rests on the capital letter ‘A’ which is split vertically down the center and in both neon and stainless steel performs the service of a kind of archway through which the viewer walks into a jungle of stacked compartments filled with quasi-lettering. The “Ampersand” series is based on the ‘&’ sign—the neon in some pictures

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  • William Turner

    Museum of Modern Art

    Every college survey of 19th-century painting lashes William Turner anew to the shipmast at the heart of the storm; each sees Turner as an Impressionist precursor whose seminal role rivals that of Delacroix; each retells how “A Graduate From Oxford,” Ruskin, initiated a new appreciation for the majestic late “disintegrations” through his insistence, almost in the face of all reasonable evidence, that these paint patches and webworks were, after all, exact natural recreations. Turner then is a thrice-told tale and more.

    The Turner exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art focuses on the late production,

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  • Andy Warhol

    Leo Castelli Gallery

    An important classified ad in a recent issue of The Village Voice reads:

    X-CHANGE: You feed the factory. Supply the Warhol Works with items negotiable, well-used, or new (Technical equipment, free good dinners, terrific clothes, film, lights and work, what-have-you or what-are-you) ANDY WARHOL will certify your WARHOL WORK with his signature. For appointment call EL 5-9941.

    This is the most literal statement to date of Andy Warhol’s Message—that Art and Life are Interchangeable. What happens as a result of this premise, of course, is that neither exists or that one becomes part of the other in a

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  • Paul Thek

    Pace Gallery

    The Surrealizing sculptures of Paul Thek are among the most powerful and frightening of recent combine fabrications. While the artist would have us remain cooly neutral before these works (as he himself doubtless must be, else how could he have manufactured them?) this is something of a vain hope and practical impossibility for the viewer untrained in Thek’s special ascesis. The only training a viewer conceivably has in preparing for Thek’s work is occasional childhood visits to museums in which fearsome cross-section slabs of human beings were preserved in formaldehyde, compressed under glass

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  • Herbert Crowley and Windsor McCay

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    For several years prior to the out break of the First World War, Two Fantastic Draftsmen, as they are rightfully called at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shared a page in the funny papers of the New York Herald. Among the least anticipated contenders for a “Met” show, these turn-of-the-century illustrators are something of a smash hit, beguiling, popular and visually stimulating. (Conversely, the literary aspect of their comic strips—unlike our best ones—is almost nil.)

    Herbert Crowley and Windsor McCay were comic strip artists of an heroic cast. Nothing today, at least no strip that has come

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  • 5-Man Show

    Royal Marks Gallery

    A five-man exhibition, containing some works of monumental proportions, has been pressed into the restrained space of the Royal Marks Gallery. A lot of wall has been given over to Howard Jones, a “hot-information” constructivist. On a simple level Jones might be described as an ardent McLuhanite. Having given up his silhouette images of corporation men covered by gridworks of electric lights, Jones’ recent work retains the light patterns alone. These electrical systems are “hotted up” by complex, changing repeat patterns, often more than a hundred, and by electronic sound effects which can be

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