• Jules Olitski

    Emmerich Gallery

    Those who tend to look unfavorably on the art of Jules Olitski are offended by the sweetness of his color; those who would uphold his work are wont to overlook that color, despite acknowledgement of its importance. The new paintings by Olitski at Emmerich are not likely to alter these circumstances. They are, as usual, overwhelmingly chromatic, the few changes to be noted in them being literally, if not altogether esthetically, marginal.

    When the show falls below the general level of handsome, it does so because of some misjudgment of the scale necessary to embody a color in memorable proportions.

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  • Cy Twombly

    Castelli Gallery | Uptown

    Cy Twombly’s is one of the more rare instances of an American artist—Joan Mitchell’s is perhaps another—whose work continues to hold interest despite having been uprooted and transplanted to Europe about ten years ago. Its distance from its place of origin and source of information tells in an arrested development, but not so strongly as to overwhelm the authenticity of its vision. Twombly’s residence in Rome has cut him off from all that has happened in art here since the late fifties, but it has not obscured the elegance, irony, and insouciance that had earlier marked his contribution. These

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  • Steven Urry

    Royal Marks Gallery

    To enter the Royal Marks Gallery this month is to venture into a gaggle of shimmying, shimmering metal forms that bask hugger-mugger in the gallery light, giving off as they do, an almost manic joie-de-vivre. The author of these aluminum frolics is Steven Urry, who makes one of the most accomplished debuts it has been my pleasure to witness. The nerve with which these aggregates have been joined together and then crowded environmentally upon each other, is as apparent as the levity of a sculptor who can imagine such titles as Psychedilly Rose, or Waul Phaulderawl. But if there is something

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  • Philip Pearlstein

    Frumkin Gallery

    For this reason, Philip Pearlstein’s elevation, as opposed to mere acceptance of the figure as subject, is obviously very much against the grain of contemporary artistic ambition. But the very fragmentation of his effort has something indomitably misguided about it: it compels curiosity, not by virtue of any success within his paintings (whose qualities vary considerably), but by the excessive pressure and density of a program that half knows, and is half unaware, of the odds it is facing.

    With implacable zeal, Pearlstein proposes a race of beings that are about as matter of fact, and unselfconscious

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  • Robert Whitman

    Pace | 32 East 57th Street

    About the only short term conclusion one can draw from Robert Whitman’s “environment” called “Dark” at the Pace Gallery, is that the more sophisticated the technology at an artist’s disposal—in this case a thankfully harmless laser beam—the more absurdly minimal his dramatic effect. Of course, this won’t do as a generalization, but the fact remains that the thin red, self-erasing or slightly dipping ribbons of granulated light that laterally bisect the darkened chambers of the gallery are quite a come-down for the man who had earlier given us the cinematic and live action composite called Prune

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  • Guggenheim International Exhibition

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

    If one is not too sure what has happened in sculpture since 1960 and if one wants to see an absorbing, if conservative, selection of works by primarily well-known figures, then one ought to stroll down the bright spiral of the Guggenheim. But, granting the beauty of the installation, the Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1967, lacks something essential: a real reason for existing. The headaches involved in mounting a major exhibition of large sculpture by eighty artists of diverse nationality—the crating, unpacking, insuring, installing, cataloging, not to mention internal and external

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  • Richard Hogle, John Van Saun and Preston McClanahan

    Howard Wise Gallery

    Richard Hogle and John Van Saun present more traditional work: neatly crafted structures raised out of translucent whitish plastic in turn subdivided and compartmentalized and lastly lit from within. Hogle stagger-circuits staccato-like illuminations in his boxes or deforms light projections by shooting colored beams through rotating perforated screens hidden within the box’s innards. John Van Saun’s major piece is composed of sixteen rectangular columns that light up in colors while prettily chiming affecting toy-piano tones.

    Preston McClanahan is interested in the edges rather. than the forms

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  • “Toward A New Metaphysics”

    Allan Frumkin Gallery

    Whatever metaphysics is, the present, highly meritable group show, is not about such a drift. As to New, that is applied to the work of three young artists, Cynthia Carlsen, William Schwedler and William Wiley, many of whose qualities are easily discernible in earlier accomplishments. This said and done, “Toward A New Metaphysics,” is a suggestive exhibition, not only because it is the initial New York exposure of three talented artists, but also because it presents a contemporary option other than bedrock Mini. To have located another viable stream amidst the prevailing Drang Nach Nul is to

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  • Walt Kuhn

    Kennedy Galleries

    Apart from relating picaresque details of Walt Kuhn’s life—learning tap dance from Pat Rooney II, Making It on the Great White Way, few of Frank Getlein’s claims made in the Kennedy catalog are sustained in the exhibition proper (though, perhaps, to categorically deny them might be equally grandiloquent). The disparity between essay and exhibition owes to the fact that by and large the hanging is composed of paintings that come from the last decade of the artist’s life. To put the matter bluntly, one gained the impression that the Kennedy Galleries were “pushing” the work of the forties (Kuhn

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  • “The Triumph of Realism”

    Brooklyn Museum

    “The Triumph of Realism” at the Brooklyn Museum places late 19th-century American painting in the context of its contemporary European sources. Although Courbet is the pivotal figure, the Leibl Kreis, with the exception of Thoma, seems to have developed independent of his influence, if not of his example. Its members grouped themselves around Wilhelm Leibl, a naturalist who seceded from the Munich Academy, with its hierarchy topped by history painting. Two American students at Munich also joined this rebellion. Frank Duveneck was the older and apparent leader of the two, although William Chase

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  • Dan Flavin

    Kornblee Gallery

    Once again Dan Flavin presents his unsentimental bars of fluorescence at the Kornblee Gallery. This year the whole show is green. All of the paired, eight-foot-long rods of light are set at diagonals onto the walls, extending from baseboards to door frames, moldings or corner angles. One is almost put off by the sheer intensity of the emerald glow when entering the room, but once inside, the color fades to an eerie pallor. The unrelenting light bleaches out shadows, dissolving even the silhouette of the glass tubes which contain it. Perhaps the most unintentionally dramatic effect is induced by

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  • Conrad Marca-Relli

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    During the years between 1952 and 1967 Conrad Marca-Relli has experimented with many variations on the theme of large-scale collage as a “complete pictorial system.” His recent Whitney Museum retrospective is a clear exposition of an exceedingly cohesive and sound development. If Marca-Relli’s work is not distinguished by a totally original approach to form and figuration, it is certainly the record of a fine and commandingly tasteful sensitivity to the substance and material of his oeuvre.

    A cue to all of Marca-Relli’s production, in distinguishing it from that of his Abstract Expressionist

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  • Tom Doyle

    Dwan Gallery

    Tom Doyle’s show at the Dwan consists, quite largely, of one major sculpture which spans most of the gallery’s length, looming close to the ceiling. Doyle juxtaposes disparate polychromed masses, whose off-axis dynamics and individualized shapes represent a current, but also retrospective antithesis to the unifying, non-relational designs of primary structures or the singularity of “specific objects.” The open volumes and extended, interrelating parts clearly refer to Doyle’s foundation in the gestural, romantic spirit of Abstract Expressionism, yet an updated instinct for broadened, simpler

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  • Lennart Anderson

    Graham Gallery

    Lennart Anderson’s tiny still lifes, portraits and landscapes are quiet testimony to a gentle and ordered outlook on nature and the commonplace objects of domestic life. All of his canvases are intimate, unperturbed views, casual, yet never simply chance arrangements of items or forms, and uniformly pervaded with a melancholy starkness. Studio nudes in chaises-longues lie inattentive and lax; rivers glide smoothly beneath cloudy skies, as if waiting for some mercurial event to grace them in passage. Even factory chimneys can become a kind of pastorale, rising smokeless and barren from unpeopled

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  • Gene Davis

    Fischbach Gallery

    Gene Davis shows four of his largest wall-sized striped canvases at the Fischbach. The expansive possibilities of this mural scale are offset, however, by the use of excruciatingly thin half-inch vertical bands in at least two of the works shown. Their uniform opacity and chromatic congestion create, at times, some disappointingly compressed spatial situations, given the otherwise lively brightness of the paintings.

    Dr. Peppercorn, whose one-inch wide stripes in an “edible” palette of magenta, cherry red, orange, and vegetable green, and Raspberry Icicle are certainly less acidic in their overall

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