reviews

  • The New York Painter

    Marlborough-Gerson

    So little data linking the various generations of American artists exists that an exhibition like The New York Painter, which documents such connections, is indeed welcome. Representing a capsule survey of American art, the exhibition, a benefit for the N.Y.U. art collection, assembles an entirely respectable if not exactly overwhelming group of works. The main point of the show is to establish relationships between teachers and students. For this purpose a useful chronological chart is made available, which provides us with a few interesting historical footnotes, such as, for example, that

    Read more
  • George McNeil

    Howard Wise Gallery

    George McNeil manages to avoid falling into either of the two major pitfalls that plagued late Abstract Expressionism: poor color and the lack of coherent structure. His color—predominantly the complementary hues of red and green, orange and blue, is adroitly set off by touches of black and white. Because his palette is so conventional, the paintings don’t mean much as a color experience, but the brilliance of the hues does manage to keep the paint lively and healthy looking and to compensate for the deadness that naturally issues from overpainting. The best pictures—Cassandra and Clarabel—tend

    Read more
  • Brice Marden, David Novros, Paul Mogensen, Ralph Humphrey and Peter Gourfain

    Bykert Gallery

    To cross the street from the Wise Gallery to the Bykert is to experience a disorienting cultural shock. McNeil’s violent images and strident palette couldn’t be farther from the muted withdrawal of the younger generation displaying their works in a Group Show at the Bykert. Seeing the works juxtaposed is to see illustrated two diametrically opposed world views.

    There is no question that the paintings by Brice Marden, David Novros, Paul Mogensen, Ralph Humphrey and Peter Gourfain at the Bykert aspire to be radical art. All are more or less “minimal” in that they are monochromatic or close to it.

    Read more
  • Edward Epstein

    Spectrum Gallery

    At the Spectrum Gallery, Edward Epstein’s first New York showing of paintings and prints is a refreshing alternative contrast to the purist rigors and often narrowing terms of the minimalists’ thinking. His luxuriantly colored and painstakingly drawn mandalas offer a multiplicity of visual experiences.

    The show includes works from the past two years, done in New York and Spain, and reflects an increasing maturity gained during this period. Source, one of the first round paintings (1965), relies on matte colors and clean edges, which define successive layers of flat planes. However, the central

    Read more
  • Jack Bush

    Emmerich Gallery

    Jack Bush’s show at the Emmerich Gallery features large-format rectangles which are divided into triangular wedges or diagonal, horizontal and vertical segments. These areas contain parallel bars in a variety of widths and colors. Although he uses a broad array of bright, intense chroma stained into the raw canvas, neutral olives, greys and browns are also favored. In Soft Left, Bush employs this mixed scheme, with the two side sectors striped in tertiary greens, ochres, rusts, and pink. Though these flanking areas are the stronger forms structurally, their tones fall away to reveal a center

    Read more
  • Donald Kaufman

    Feigen Gallery

    The group of Donald Kaufman’s canvases exhibited at the Feigen Gallery is a fine record of the artist’s maturing and increasingly refined sensibility. His paintings possess a quietly pleasing and non-assertive authority, whether they span an entire wall, or are reduced to a thin horizontal bar. The interlocking rectangles which make up his compositions are colored with muted tones, variations on grey and white, with some earlier experiments in more brilliant, intense colors. Kaufman aims to work with hues that are as closely valued as possible, without getting into the area of the “invisible”

    Read more
  • Celine Chalem

    Martha Jackson Gallery

    Celine Chalem’s sculptured tables at the Martha Jackson Gallery are as unabashedly sensualist as they are emphatically practical in aim. Chalem doesn’t think of her pieces as unapproachable, pristine objects. Rather, the wood, marble, bronze, or glazed ceramic free-form torsos, accommodating fruits and spheres into the curves or depressions of the body’s relief, are meant to be touched, handled, eaten upon, and celebrated with.

    In works such as the Playboy Breakfast Table, halved melons and apples open to reveal cups, bowls, or breasts, and the shallows smoothed into the silvered surface are

    Read more
  • 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

    Read more