• Sven Sandström and more

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

    Rousseau, Redon and Fantasy, Thomas Messer baldly forewarns, is “a summer exhibition organized around a broad and admittedly imprecise theme which, while providing a degree of unity, serves primarily as an occasion to gather . . . a group of beautiful paintings.” Insofar as a large body of Rousseau, Redon and Ensor (who got short shrift in the credits) was assembled, not to mention a legion of works of more or less Symbolist, Dada and Surrealist lineage, the Guggenheim exhibition may be regarded as a success. The problem lies not with the pictures, which are indeed very handsome, but with a

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  • Friedel Dzubas

    Andre Emmerich Gallery

    The formats of Friedel Dzubas’s new paintings are long on horizon and short on height. In Fare and Forgetmenot, for example, they run 240 inches by 19 inches. The eccentric format is a false clue, a rapidly debased tip-off which confirms the accomplished felicities of Dzubas’s pictorial turns of phrase. These new paintings reveal more of the painter’s decorousness than his esthetic contentiousness. They are neither successful in terms of engulfment (though they relate to this notion) nor do they successfully strive towards pure objectivity (as exemplified by the fixated work of, say, Pat Johanson

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  • Wallace Berman

    The Jewish Museum

    There is no longer any question that at least one part of art (and probably not that part of it which passes for high art) is given value on grounds extrinsic to the produced object—Beardsley, Duchamp, Ben Shahn and Larry Rivers, to pluck at random among differing levels of achievement, are cases in point. Certainly, Andy Warhol’s life style (as the current locution has it) is central to our vision of his production. I make these observations to suggest that were I from the West Coast I doubtless would have a considerably higher opinion of Wallace Berman's work than I did on seeing it here in

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  • Robert Swain and Stylianos Gianakos

    Fischbach Gallery

    Robert Swain’s group of glowing rainbow-grid paintings from 1967 at the Fischbach Gallery came to me as a great surprise when I recalled the rather mechanical and stiffer three-color harmony canvases he had shown at the Park Place Gallery a few years back. Although still working with an admittedly rigid set of limitations, Swain has moved a long way in his ability to get beyond the mere mechanics of an organizational system, allowing a new bloom and extended range of color to sustain the expression of his work.

    Concerned with a means to project colors intensely and expansively without divorcing

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  • E. W. Nay

    Knoedler Galleries

    E. W. Nay, the German colorist, died at the age of 66 in Cologne in April of this year, and Knoedler’s has presented, in his first posthumous retrospective, a large sampling of the painter’s last works. I found them peculiarly pathetic and self-consciously hesitant, betraying the failure of both hand and vision to consummate themselves in old age with the authority and boldness one marveled at in a painter like Matisse, or with the confidence Nay himself must have possessed as a young artist. The often awkwardly achieved configurations, with their partly biomorphic, partly jagged and irregular

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  • Clayton Pond

    Martha Jackson Gallery

    With fluorescently bright reds, purples, greens, oranges, or blues, Clayton Pond characterizes his “Think Happy” mood in 15 canvases at Martha Jackson, depicting the corners and fittings in his studio-loft home. Happy, yes; the thinking—well, colorful anyway. Pond’s pictures of such intrinsically fascinating subjects as his Con Edison Meter, his Kitchen Sink (complete with dishes and garbage), his Toilet, his Grandmother’s Fan and other such paraphernalia display a Matissean delight in decorative patterning, as all the furnishings of his immediate environment are transformed into a homey little

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