New York

Charles Pollock, Sam Gilliam, Frank Viner, Mel Henderson, Neva Hansen, Gianni Colombo, Charles Frazier, Sidney Butchkes, Roy Colmer and Tal Streeter

A.M. Sachs Gallery

The A. M. Sachs Gallery opened in new quarters with a group of works representing lesser known or unaffiliated artists, selected by an impressive roster of collectors, critics and museum curators. Despite the prestige of those who helped put together the exhibit, the pieces were often disappointing, although the choices were hardly unexpected in terms of the tastes they reflected.

Clement Greenberg and Barbara Rose picked two color-field painters, echoes of the Louis and Noland methods not to be neglected. Greenberg’s choice was Charles Pollock, whose ochre stained canvas is inflected with navy blue, lavender, and pink vertical bands, the edges bleeding slightly into each other—a well made, though not terribly exciting work. Sam Gilliam’s small vertical panel, soaked with liquid washes of deep blues and greens was Miss Rose’s selection. Pop advocate Lucy Lippard surprised no one with Frank Viner’s zippered vinyl pouches, which were pyramid-shaped or cylindrical, stuffed or sagging floor pieces. Peter Selz sent Mel Henderson’s four small semi-erotic surrealized spoofs, in combinations of cast bronze, lead, and fur bristles.

Other works in the rather crowded installation included Neva Hansen’s shadow-casting canvas bars, which were staggered and shaped to fit a corner of the gallery, and Gianni Colombo’s small kinetic piece. Inside its thin glass box, a continuous ribbon of pliant steel is fed into and out of two slots in the bottom edge, creating a shifting pattern of arcing edges and fluent arabesques. The humming sleekness of its mechanisms was an interesting counterpoint to a charcoal-and-tempera drawing by Charles Frazier nearby, in which half-anatomical, half-mechanical structures are blasted apart by their own intricacies. Shaped and segmented canvases by Sidney Butchkes and Roy Colmer hung above a two-sided beam-and-plexiglass construction by Tal Streeter. Painting, sculpture, and works at several degrees in between jostled one another for attention and space, making it just as hard to move around as to weigh out the relative merits and interest of each, or of the show in general. Perhaps this clutter reflects an over-enthusiasm on the part of the gallery at its reopening, but in the future the installations might profit if they were simplified and more spacious in the accommodation of works to be shown.

Emily Wasserman