reviews

  • Larry Poons

    Leo Castelli Gallery

    Much of the impact of Larry Poons’s earlier work was caused by the assault of a brilliant chromatic braille on the fingertips, so to speak, of the optical nerve. The present installation of four wall-size paintings, the fruit of this year’s labor, appears to be a reversal of Poons’s potent visual exploration (with its duplicitous and delightful cinematographic neon after-images) in favor of the diaphanous. In this altered context Poons’s delicate pencil grid begins to function less as system and more as a vertical, horizontal and diagonal webwork. Poons is also now more consistently in line with

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  • John Willenbecher

    Richard L. Feigen & Co

    The delicate beiges and blues, normally the province of wild birds’ eggs, constitute the most blatant run of color in John Willenbecher’s latest exhibition of constructions. Painted on small spheres, these very restrained tints have been closely graded to parallel deftly executed grey scales which run full cycle from dark to light to dark again. The greys are harmonically progressive and fan out in crescents and aureoles that logarithmically swell in a kind of sentiment-clogged mathematics. For the rest, it is all black, white and silver and despite the combine aspects of Willenbecher’s work,

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  • Paul Harris

    Poindexer Gallery

    In March of 1966 The Graham Gallery staged Stuffed Expressionism and Abstract Inflationists, a funny exhibition, perhaps too perfunctorily dismissed in the light of Lucy Lippard’s subsequent Eccentric Abstraction, and of Oldenburg’s continued exploration of soft sculpture seen recently at Janis. At the time of SEAI I noted that Paul Harris’s Woman had never arrived, although the flier illustrated a work fraught with a “nostalgie de Raggedy Ann,” (Artforum, May 1966). Well, to end this limitless glance, Woman has at last arrived in New York and is part of an exhibition of Paul Harris’s mute,

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  • Christo, Michael Steiner, Peter Hutchinson, Walter de Maria and more

    Dwan Gallery

    Seventeen artists are represented in an exhibition of scale models and drawings for monuments—both real (Christo’s huge knotty package of helium was actually raised in Minneapolis last year) and projected—at the Dwan Gallery. By and large the artists included, as might be expected from the locale, fall into the reductive or minimal category. Yet, their sense of the monument, and of the monumental, can be traced back to the immediately anterior Pop mode—and, ultimately, to Cubist and industrial abstraction, notably Leger. The gross lesson of Oldenburg (whose own projects for monuments have also

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  • Robert Murray

    Betty Parsons Gallery

    With gentle provocation and great self-assurance, Robert Murray mounted sculptures at Betty Parsons which, while they had taken their cue from David Smith, have extended his planes into thin (less than an inch), laminated metal walls that have more the function of room dividers than of pedestal pieces surrounded by measurable space.

    Upon entering, one was blocked and shunted to the side by a kind of aluminum screen painted with red oxide, there to survey judiciously placed, sharp-edged planks of metal, some vertical and connected by a balustrade at the base, others having one incisive diagonal,

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  • Stanley Friedman, Richard Chiriani, Arthur Kleinfelder and Joel Galker

    Aspects Gallery

    No generation since the post-war one of the mid-forties has seemed as emotionally involved with new art as the present one. Artists now in their late thirties and early forties, freshmen twenty years ago, consolidated the avant-garde in America for the first time by forcing a climate of acceptance and then entering the ranks of the vanguard themselves. Not incidentally, they helped to bring more than one moribund art school to life. I can recall the exact year—1946—that Dean Norman Rice began the modernization of the art curriculum at Syracuse University.

    Now, again, the young art students are

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  • John McCracken, Lyman Kipp, Donald Judd, Frank Gallo, Robert Graham, Trova, Duane Hatchett, Lee Bontecou, David Weinrib, Tom Doyle and more

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    The Whitney Museum’s first Annual of Sculpture and Printmaking in its new quarters is, as it has always been, completely dominated by the sculpture, the prints, as ever, merely squeezed in where they can fit.

    The Whitney’s attitude toward American graphics has always been unclear; one does not even know whether the Museum collects it in any systematic way. If, for a time, the field seemed to be preempted by the Museum of Modern Art’s formidable Department of Prints and Drawings, MoMA’s failure to mount extensive graphics exhibitions should have permitted the Whitney to make a more vigorous attempt

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  • Richard Lindner

    Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery

    Richard Lindner’s exhibition at Cordier and Ekstrom puts forth his obsessional mythology of the erotic possibilities of the demonic female with a clarity and force that surpass what really ought to be possible within the range of his iconic formats. Lindner’s atmosphere of erotic menace and excitement is not easily explained, and it certainly is not due to any sensationalism in the imagery, or to sexual explicitness. The imagery taken by itself does have aspects which are disquieting, but only because of the specific forms that Lindner uses. Some of his regularly employed devices are that the

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  • Alex Katz

    Fischbach Gallery

    At the Fischbach Gallery Alex Katz has a small show of two tabletops of his cutouts. These are figures which might have been cut out of some larger painting. Mounted to stand freely, they good-naturedly tease the viewer on the point of apparent volume in painting. It is perfectly obvious that they are flat, first because successful illusionism in painting, even trompe l’oeil never really aims at making us mistake the painted thing for its actual counterpart, and secondly because the irregular contour of the cutouts clearly exists only in one plane. Katz’s sportiveness comes in that he paints

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  • George Ortman

    Howard Wise Gallery

    George Ortman’s current show at the Howard Wise Gallery discards, in several examples, the regular rectangular format he had used exclusively in the past in favor of a fat H-shaped layout within which to dispose his carefully related geometric shapes. In these, and in a number of the rectangular pieces too, he uses a mixture of painted and aluminum forms, introducing a dully reflective element into his compositions.

    Ortman’s formal vocabulary here is what we have come to know in the past, that is, a variety of precise, and usually perfectly regular geometric shapes which are fitted together and

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  • Red Grooms

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    Red Grooms’s current manifestation at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery consists of a hilarious movie, Fat Feet, the props and whatnot for this flick, and some not really nostalgic evocations of past filmdom luminaries. These last are either big gouaches, some of which are freely adapted from period photographs, and carpentered and painted tableaux and wall pieces, layered and articulated in a way which produces strange analogues to the grainy still or contrasty close-up. Grooms’s interest in his theme, the Adamic era of movie production, is not the saccharine campy retrospection pandered to in

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  • “The Nude—Now”

    Allan Frumkin Gallery

    The January show at Allan Frumkin Gallery is a strange kind of survey called “The Nude—Now,” made up of a painting or two by fifteen contemporary American artists, most of them youngish and of some reputation. The extremes of age and fame are, respectively, de Kooning, who has a following in these parts, and Johann Sellenraad, who I believe here shows in New York for the first time. The point of the show is not too easy to divine if one looks for some unity beyond simply that of the subject. A goodly number of the artists represented do not concentrate on the nude as a theme in their production,

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