• Sol Lewitt

    Dwan Gallery

    Behind Sol Lewitt’s latest sculpture, 46 Three-Part Variations on 3 Different Kinds of Cubes, lurks the idea that even though the individual elements from which works of art are built are in themselves empty and meaningless, they are not irretrievably so. With enough vigilance and enough rigor one can render them meaningful by making them integers of a logical system—a system whose own lucidity will permeate the lifeless skin of otherwise dead forms, filling them with meaning. Faced with the sculptural poverty of LeWitt’s work, one tends to think of 19th-century academic painting, where it was

    Read more
  • James Brooks

    Martha Jackson Gallery

    The surfaces of the paintings by James Brooks, at the Martha Jackson Gallery, the product of the past two years, carry the imprint of Pop color and technique like an infection which has dried their skin and hardened it into rigid inexpressiveness. Colors like blue verging on aqua, flesh tan, acid green and black predominate, and Brooks’s paint-handling—which isolates shapes by filling in dark grounds around areas of lighter color—makes the figures and grounds seem not so much the result of drawn or stroked paint as the slightly unsynchronized deposit of color in a silk-screen lithographic stencil

    Read more
  • Soulages

    Knoedler Galleries

    The viscous cuisine of Soulages’ old work has given way in the new to thinner washes of oil that invoke the muse of stain painting in a particularly gratuitous gesture towards being up to date. Nothing else has changed. In his current show, we are still given the same representations of gothic architecture with the same shafts of inspirational white light piercing the gloom of the same interior spaces. The wish to defeat drawing (with its inevitable reference to three dimensional masses in conventional illusionistic space) that was present at the birth of stain painting is absent from Soulages’

    Read more
  • Larry Zox

    Kornblee Gallery

    The notion that Larry Zox is a “color painter,” or that he is what you might call a sensual colorist seems to be a mistaken one. Zox is now using several kinds of paint: he varies two types of surfaces within one canvas by alternating epoxy resins, which have a leathery sheen, and acrylics, which are applied more flatly. He also combines bright primaries or cosmetic pastel colors with tertiaries (grey-greens or acidic yellows) and achromatic shades (black, greys, whites, browns). In spite of these new chromatic variations, his thinking is still much more in terms of light dark value, which

    Read more
  • Tony Smith

    Fischbach Gallery

    Nobody is going to want to admit that Tony Smith’s show of the Wandering Rocks at the Fischbach Gallery—five relatively small pieces fabricated in a dull, grey finish steel—is really about theater, more than it is about sculptural form, but that is indeed what the arrangement boils down to. Of course Smith has not abandoned his unpredictable and refined use of volume and geometry, nor the poetically expressionist implications of his enterprise, despite the modest scale of these works. The five separate pieces, Crocus, Dud, Shaft, Smohawk, and Slide sit on the floor of the dimly-lit gallery in

    Read more
  • John Stephenson

    Royal Marks Gallery

    John Stephenson makes his debut at the Royal Marks Gallery with an adroit group of aluminum and steel planes rhythmically bent or lapped into form. His work is involved with the articulation of continuous hard surfaces and “soft“ fluid spaces, rather than with the establishment of some single volumetric object or image. His thinking is more in line with the open, simple forms of Robert Murray’s work (some drawings by Stephenson point to solutions similar to Murray’s), than with the Judd/Morris attitude. Stephenson uses long metal ribbons with rounded ends (giant flexible tongue depressors), or

    Read more
  • Martin Canin

    Graham Gallery

    The hot end of the rainbow glowed from the walls of the Graham Gallery during Martin Canin’s first New York show. In his large scale oils Can-in lines up narrow one-half to one-inch luminous strips, graduated from pale yellows through sunny golds to hot pinks or tangerine orange. He phases these bands in irregular sequences, and boxes them in at the top and bottom edges of the canvas, so that a succession of concentric, rectangular “coffins” take shape out of the melting radiance. All of the gold and orange-keyed paintings emit a soft, suffused, buttery light, while the small felt pen drawings

    Read more
  • Tom Wesselmann

    Janis Gallery

    If Tom Wesselmann is provocative at all it is when he is metaphorically succinct, rather than illustrational and specific. He shows a new group of erotic cut-outs at the Janis Gallery, extending the iconography of the bedroom literally into our environment, with his Great American Nude #98—a set-up of enormous billboard like flats. All of the trappings which are the similes to erotic functions and parts are mapped out alongside of a nude who lies in a blatantly seductive pose, in the Great American Nude #91. And all of the equations are quite clearly spelled out—there’s really nothing left to

    Read more
  • Anthony DeBlasi

    Spectrum Gallery

    A show which probably won’t get much attention, but which certainly deserves a serious look is Anthony DeBlasi’s first one man exhibition at the Spectrum Gallery. What at first appears to be a resemblance in design to Stella’s recent works turns out to be something quite different, and exhilarating in its own way. Within this group of half-a-dozen pictures, one senses some tremendous leaps which DeBlasi has been able to make, as he has explored a means which departs considerably from his own previous work (which was, for a while, figurative). Black and white reproductions are especially

    Read more
  • Camille Pissarro

    Center for Inter-American Relations

    It is very good to see the show of early drawings by Camille Pissarro at the gallery of the Center for Inter-American Relations: after all, they could have shown instead the Venezuelan equivalent of de Kooning or Oldenburg, which is what foundations of this sort, with a primarily regional interest, usually do. How much you will learn from this show depends on what you bring to it; if you bring to it the notion that Impressionist work is formed in the school of nature, you will learn a lot.

    The most interesting, if not the best part of the show was the room of paintings and drawings by the Danish

    Read more
  • Bruce Nauman

    Leo Castelli Gallery

    That I happened to find several of Bruce Nauman’s pieces at this first one-man exhibition in New York City adolescent and contemptible in no way means that he is avoiding serious artistic issues. What Nauman is facilely sparring with, it seems to me, concerns the widest possible leeway in the fabrication of an art object, the least accredited result and the least predictable method. But these commendable aims carry him through a whole set of postures which, to all but the most short-sighted, already have been enacted with far more revolutionary results. Our present generation of War Baby Why

    Read more
  • Bibiena Family Drawings

    Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Diane Kelder, who earlier had arranged exhibitions which struck amazing theatrical notes on the painting of Monsù Desiderio, as well as a view of representative Baroque diversions, Scenes and Spectacles, has surpassed herself in the present installation of drawings by the Bibiena family, from European and American collections, now at the Philadelphia Museum and to move to the Finch College Museum.

    The Bibiena were remarkable. Headed by two brothers, Ferdinando Galli Bibiena and Francesco Bibiena, whose careers spanned the late 17th and early 18th centuries, their sure architectural hands and

    Read more
  • Walter de Maria, Mark di Suvero and Richard Serra

    Noah Goldowsky Gallery

    Three sculptors of notable talent fill out the restrained space of the Goldowsky front room. Two of them, Walter de Maria and Mark di Suvero, are familiar enough to be, in the present review, almost overlooked. By far, the freshest figure is a newcomer from the West Coast called Richard Serra. In the face of the current trialogue, Serra appears to link certain of the effete literary qualities of de Maria to the male principle of di Suvero. Of the three, Serra provides the most exciting contrasts of medium and literary undertone.

    The featherweight is surely Walterde Maria. His floor piece, a sleek

    Read more
  • Ronald Grow

    Stephen Radich Gallery

    Ronald Grow’s exhibition of all-day sucker sculpture at the Radich Gallery is a most commendable New York debut. Granting that the burpy, improvisational vocabulary of this kind of assemblage amalgamates a wide range of topical ploys, in Grow’s work the topicality exudes a hip modernity rather than a poisonous dependency. The squirmy forms appear as well in the new Libermans, in the polished molten sheens of Paolozzi, in the trampoline hysterics of Steven Urry, in the formal and spatial discontinuities of Robert Hudson, in the elemental tubism of Peter Voulkos, in the automatic profiles of Gerald

    Read more