• Pat Johanson

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    In a recent article in this journal (Scale and the Future of Modernism, October, 1967) suggested that one of the major problems confronting abstractionist painting was the problem of shape, or rather, the lack of shape. Abstract Expressionism’s assault on the contour matured finally in the openness of color painting, the sheer visual breadth of which swept the pictorial surface clear of those “abstract” shapes that had become a staple of all post-Cubist abstractionism. Color painting so generalized mass that the function of drawing was assigned to the edge of the canvas itself, thereby paving

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  • Peter Gourfain

    Bykert Gallery

    Still another artist concerned with an alternative to Abstract Expressionism and post-painterly abstraction, Peter Gourfain, has evolved an interesting solution to the problem of structuring an essentially shapeless field. It is neither as radical, minimal nor as original as Miss Johanson’s but it is singular enough.

    Gourfain, whose exhibition at the Bykert Gallery was his first (he is 32 and was seen in the Systemic Art Show at the Guggenheim), has found a way of combining line and light. Ordinarily, line, which moves always in the single dimension of a plane, would contradict the non-planar

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  • Eduardo Paolozzi, Jack Youngerman, and Charles Hinman

    Multiple Galleries

    Eduardo Paolozzi, Jack Youngerman and Charles Hinman have in common the fact that they all have profited from uncertainties of taste occasioned by specific disturbances of modern style. Paolozzi and Youngerman both established their reputations around 1960, less, it seems clear now, from the actual persuasiveness of their new art than the loss of conviction by the old—though Youngerman had, and has, a certain strength. Hinman, a more recent example, was a beneficiary of both the ignorance which surrounded the evolution of the shaped canvas and the general hysteria which has prevailed in the art

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  • 17th Century Dutch Paintings

    Shickman Gallery

    There was an exhibition of 17th Century Dutch Paintings at the Shickman Gallery which was as delightful as it was unexpected. Yet a conventional review is pointless in the present critical context. I cite the exhibition partly because it was a delight, but mainly because that delight is all the more precious in a culture most of the art of which provides little or no delight at all. Yet it is the delight of a minor art—domestic scenes, landscapes, still lifes, flower paintings. Minor art is that which limits its emotional and conceptual horizons. But it is precisely these limited horizons which

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  • Figurative Painting Of The Fifties

    Schoelkopf Gallery

    The Schoelkopf Gallery mounted a show of 34 works by 31 artists active in New York in the 1950s. The paintings tend to group around the date 1955. Two of the artists represented, Jan Muller and Ben Johnson, are now dead, and three, Robert Goodnough, Felix Pasilis and Wolf Kahn, no longer work in the tradition of figurative expressionism characteristic of the works exhibited here. Although the paintings exhibited depended on the holdings of the gallery and of friendly collectors, in many instances exceptional works were shown, such as Gandy Brodie’s Green Apples, Paul Georges’s Girl in Chair, Al

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  • Pat Adams

    Zabriskie Gallery

    Pat Adams’s oils and small gouaches at the Zabriskie Gallery please without challenging, and subdue by tasteful consonance, rather than jolt the eye with a bright blast of color. The sixteen gouaches are detailed Schwitters-like visions from which the oils seem to have been distilled and enlarged. They usually contain diagonal bands of wood-grainy or flecked textures played off against swatches which suggest textile samples and fabric designs. Many of these tiny studies are characteristic of Adams’s reserve and spareness, despite their decorative fillip. Others are filled with surprisingly rich

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  • Billy Apple

    Howard Wise Gallery

    Billy Apple’s U.F.O.’s (Unidentified Fluorescent Objects) at the Howard Wise Gallery launch us into ostensibly new rainbowed realms. In a flash of technical wizardry these flickering, whirling, pulsing and buzzing missiles surround the viewer with an eerily brilliant fantasy. Their impact is dulled, however, for anyone who is familiar with Times Square, which seems to have beaten Mr. Apple to the punch, and a few decades in advance of him, at that. The quivering vapors within the glass rods and spirals tend to become too associated with the commercial neon signs which are their predecessors.

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  • Félicien Rops

    Huntington Hartford Museum

    Steven Marcus, in his assessment of pornographic literature, The Other Victorians, describes “Pornotopia” as that “vision which regards all human experience as a series of exclusively sexual events or conveniences.” Félicien Rops (1833–1898) is the Belgian illustrator who best provides the visual counterpart to this sexually referential Utopia.

    To the student of late 19th-century arts, particularly those of Symbolist persuasion, Félicien Rops is a familiar figure, although at this date the exalted esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries is difficult for us to grasp. The reason for this

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  • Victor Pasmore

    Marlborough | Midtown

    The career of Victor Pasmore is long, valuable and seriously flawed. Ever since he came into his own, that is when he became an abstract painter in the late 1940s, he has mismatched an Expressionist sensibility to a Precisionist framework. One has hesitated saying it for so long because, however blemished Pasmore’s Purist abstraction is, nonetheless, he has been involved in serious ideas and has made respectable contributions to the hoary Constructivist idiom. The messiness, the biomorphism, the nonchalance was put up with because, after all, it was the conception that mattered—and Pasmore was

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  • Robert Breer


    Robert Breer looks like a real puzzler—though I don’t think he really is one, but simply a talented electronics designer. He starts out where so many minimal sculptors begin, with an elementary structure, but he then motorizes it. The locomotive bent in these works aids an otherwise straightforward neo-Platonic idealization of elementary form. The transformation of the objects into slow-moving “floats” becomes the gross message of the exhibition. In the largest work, several green pencil-sided columns, the movement is so slow as to suggest the constant final positions of the columns, rather than

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  • Robert Mangold

    Fischbach Gallery

    Robert Mangold is a tease. His one-man shows and occasional pieces in group exhibitions all hermetically confront the viewer, wait for the viewer to “give up,” which usually happens quickly, and then they don’t give the secret away. In short, Mangold is a professional magician. The current act runs as follows: seven pieces are exhibited in a large cement gallery. The pieces are composed of arc sections, circle fragments (like pie wedges) and other Mangoldiana such as chasuble shapes. The works are cut out of masonite and sprayed in matte colors of a neutral run—oysters, off-whites, greys, beiges

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