• Darby Bannard

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    It had been remarked lately that Darby Bannard’s too-palatable use of cosmetic or decorator colors runs against the grain of prevailing tastes for styles of reductive monochrome, non-relational, systemic, or serially repetitive composition. This actually says more about the inherent Puritanism of our own responses, than it does about the ambitious complexity of Bannard’s newest paintings, shown at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery. There is a deceptive mildness to his Jordan Almond colors, and a sweetness which challenges us by its very surfeit to override even this kind of psychological association.

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  • Carl Andre

    Dwan Gallery

    One of the most beautiful exhibitions of the season so far was Carl Andre’s lyrical disposition of three metal “rugs” on the floors of the Dwan Gallery. The materials were flat plates of aluminum (shiny and bright), iron (dull and rusting along the edges) and zinc (less bright than the aluminum, burnished-looking), each twelve inches square. The plates were simply laid side by side, twelve up and twelve across to create three large squares on the floor. In spite of their flatness, the volumes that came into being were utterly convincing, the weight of the plates palpable against the soft rugs

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  • Alex Katz

    Fischbach Gallery

    Alex Katz exhibits seven large paintings of flowers (tulips, lilies, daisies, etc.) and a group of figurative paintings including several vast “portrait” heads. The style of all the paintings is the familiar one of clear shapes and flat patterning—a decorative, semi-muralesque treatment that has abandoned easel scale but hesitates to claim the wall as its proper reference. One fights the conviction that almost all the paintings would have been better even larger, and painted directly on the walls.

    Within the frame there is compositional drama: the cropping and the close-up compositions of the

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  • Otto Piene, Nam Jun Paik, Jack Burnham and more

    Howard Wise Gallery

    The Christmas season was not, perhaps, the most tactful time for an exhibition entitled Festival of Lights at the Howard Wise Gallery. As the gallery version made clear, the real competition was in the streets, and Le Park (Avenue) looked lots better than Le Parc (Julio).

    The exhibition contained over thirty works, international in character, ranging from catastrophically boring light boxes from Brooklyn, to electric flowers from Germany (Otto Piene), to “an authentic antique Japanese scroll adapted to the electric age” (Nam June Paik). It was a dull exhibition, because no one seemed to be

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  • “Homage to Marilyn”

    Janis Gallery

    The wastefulness of Marilyn Monroe’s suicide drained into the Grand Guignol of President Kennedy’s assassination. They remain the central traumas of the antebellum sixties. One hardly expected that Janis’s homage to half of these unassimilable episodes could bite any longer. We are already inured to the displays of grief which attended these events. And considering how Hilton Kramer came down hard in our morning coffee—“It seems to be a rule of this kind of exhibition that where the subject is most explicitly visible, the esthetic quality of the work is lowest”—our expectations were not high.

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  • Edward Ruscha

    Iolas Gallery

    My idea on receiving the announcement to Edward Ruscha’s exhibition of gunpowder drawings bore no relation to the exhibition itself. I imagined from the title a kind of process art derived in part from Yves Klein’s flame pictures and from the current cultural weighing in favor of process and method (as distinct from object). Thus, naively, I entered the gallery to discover that Ruscha uses his powder dry. In his hands it takes on an elaborate and delicately deployed range of tonal modulation—greys as fine as aquatint. But there is no ignition and one regrets the flame.

    This careful method, for

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  • John Hoyland

    Elkon Gallery

    John Hoyland is a young Englishman exhibiting here for the first time who gives one pause to worry about what appears to be the growing academism in stained field painting. In Hoyland’s case, the heritage of Morris Louis’s long glowing neon stripes is especially sensible. That Hoyland has successfully integrated this heritage into his vocabulary (as have, it must be admitted, so many others) is also a measurement of the painterly scholasticism that it has become. Despite these grave reservations, Hoyland does bring a modest personal dash to the legacy, a flavor that smacks oddly of Hans Hofmann—as

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  • Paul Huxley

    Kornblee Gallery

    Paul Huxley derives his motif from the rectangular solid, in most instances, the cube. The motif is viewed either two dimensionally as a square, or in an ambiguous dimension, that is, as a six-sided figure, the gestalt of a cube projected isometrically with all the interior edges painted out, flat and opaque. These motifs are then set up in tangent sequences one above the other, or one beside the other in diagonal drifts across the face of large, square canvases—often resulting in eccentrically shaped grounds. The 2-D compositions are then painted in hard and, if anything, it is the color above

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  • Wayne Nowack

    Stone Gallery

    If you can imagine a gangbang which includes the following persons—Rorschach, Cornell, Bauermeister, Ernst, Schwitters, Currier and Ives and Altdorfer—then perhaps you already have an inkling of the festivities tatted up in Wayne Nowack’s boxes. These assemblages of the past two years tend to be small and, since under glass, purportedly precious. But they never get beyond what they are made of—jumbled compositions of side-show detritus, celluloid toys, children’s games, magnifying lenses, steel engravings, Victoriana, religious talismans, magazine illustrations and a vast supply of tacky fragments

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  • Whitney Annual

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    The Whitney Annual’s 165 item supermarket (commonly known as its biennial show of contemporary American painting) opened with a mixed bag of both very good and appallingly inferior works, representing everything from hard edge geometric and minimal, “Op,” “ Pop,” and shaped canvases, to kinetics and rock bottom traditional easel painting. Nevertheless, there is enough to make it a worthwhile visit. A Ford Foundation grant enabled the Museum’s directors and curators to travel throughout the country surveying and selecting paintings. If this permitted, on the one hand, the procuring of some first

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  • William Copley

    Iolas Gallery

    At the Alexander lolas Gallery William Copley’s (or CPLY as the signature goes) mock innocent illustrations pay homage to the Yukon ballads of Robert W. Service, a vagabond bard who was born in 1874. Cply’s pictures are titled with verses from these narrative jingles about the region’s legendary taverns and brothels. With a small vaudevillian cast of faceless mounties, provocative blondes and barmaids, or men in bowler hats and herringbone suits, he illuminates the waggish humor of the rhymes, and in a broad decorative style that enhances the subject matter while it turns us away from any (

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  • Oscar Bluemner

    Taylor | Graham

    The Graham Gallery honors the centennial of the birth of Oscar Bluemner with a provocative and pleasing selection of his oils and watercolors. One-time architect Bluemner is known particularly for his expressionistic and irrational use of color; he was dubbed the “Vermillionaire” due to his use of the startling red in almost every one of his paintings. As a color theorist, his concepts owed as much to Byzantine mosaics, medieval stained glass and illumination, or Oriental painting, as they did to the ideas of Delaunay and the American Synchromists. Unlike these moderns, however, Bluemner chose

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  • Bill Bollinger

    Bykert Gallery

    To accuse a pared-down plastic expression of lacking interest simply because its formal components are few, or because it defies critically exhaustive description, is not to attend it with due credit. Bill Bollinger, showing at the Bykert Gallery, still works with simple manufactured metal units, but he is articulating space and surfaces in a new and more complex way. This is not to say, however, that the recent works, which are composed of jointed aluminum pipes, are entirely or vitally successful. They are certainly not as lethally attractive as the slender angled shafts which he has exhibited

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  • Elliot Offner

    Forum Gallery

    Shifting from the Bykert Gallery to Elliot Offner’s sculpture at the Forum is to experience a swift and obvious emotional disjunction between two not so distant generations. Bollinger is understated and cool in his approach to materials and forms, as Offner is emotionally committed and involved in a kind of precious artisanship which no longer interests most of the youngest sculptors. Although the two are at extreme opposite poles, neither Offner nor Bollinger seems to represent the finest that either attitude would have to offer. Offner’s show is composed of thirty carved or cast plaques,

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