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 New York for the first time. John Coplans's article on Berman (Artforum, March, 1964) apprised me of Berman's central influence on the coastal mode, particularly that of the assemblagists. Coplans cited George Herms, Bruce Connor and even Edward Kienholz, among others, the same group which James Monte

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