• Peggy Guggenheim Collection

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

    Granting the eminence of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the things which interests me here is how that same collection has been deserved by its multiple catalogers, including, to my dismay, the most recent one, Works From the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York City, in connection with its installation of the collection in Uncle Solomon’s museum. Quite recently, Harry Abrams brought out The Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Modern Art by Nicolas Calas, assisted by his wife, Elena. Mr. Calas is well-known as a writer on contemporary art although his

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  • Julio Gonzalez

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

    The present installation of four sculptures and a multitude of drawings by Julio Gonzalez alters only slightly the prevailing sense of this metal forger’s sculptural contribution except in that it widens our awareness of his lifelong attachment to homiletic sentimentalizations ultimately derived from Barbizon painting. Rather, the broad array of drawings and pastels reaffirm that Gonzalez is most easily viewed as a craftsman of genial inspiration rather than a sculptor of genius.

    Among the earlier work of note––done after his arrival in Paris in 1900 and his meeting with Picasso––one finds several

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  • William Bollinger, Ralph Humphrey

    Bykert Gallery

    Two exhibitions of visual research, though at antipodal extremes, have been held consecutively at the Bykert Gallery. One is of soiling tenacity, the other of glowing hygeia. The first, that of William Bollinger, aligns this young artist with the broad wave of schmutzkunst which now threatens to inundate the next two seasons. This adhesion may seem startling at first as one regarded Bollinger as a confirmed member of the geometric Minimalist team, a view predicated on the narrow extrusions which brought Bollinger into prominence around 1966. The point to keep in mind is that Bollinger’s art,

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  • Robert Smithson

    Dwan Gallery

    Faced with Robert Smithson’s geological conundrums, one recognizes that his work must be accounted for––not only for its own imperatives––but because Smithson is so central a figure to a wide spectrum of current production, the most recent example of the genre being the photographically recorded snow shovelings of Dennis Oppenheim surveyed at the John Gibson Gallery. The familiar Smithson is of course still present in the new units, in terms of hollow geometrical forms of either a fixed format (a square, or symmetrical subdivisions of this shape), or in sequences of expanding systems of proportional

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  • Craig Kauffman

    Of the Craig Kauffmans, one might say the cataracts of Polyphemus. Like sullen and iridescent lenses they blindly stare back at the viewer. Much of their power is related to bulged and curved rectangular formats (as in the Ralph Humphreys) and a surge forward into the space of the room. These plastic lentils are not a continuous single surface but rather—were one to slice a cross-section through—they describe two long arcs set one upon the other. The central swell receives the strongest hue which in turn is intensified by a darkening around the seam caused by the meeting of the two arcs. The

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  • Giorgio Cavallon, Ludwig Sander

    Sachs Gallery

    Giorgio Cavallon’s recent painting, while clearly a powerful demonstration of abstract painterly sensibility, is for me, curiously off key. I am too aware, for example, of an affiliation with fine paper collage in the manner of Anne Ryan, scaled up, more loosely “gridded” across the surface and sometimes, here and there, swinging into broad arcs. But it is less the structural derivation than the coloristic tentativeness that puts me off. Being scrupulously deliberate about his compositions, Cavallon has grown even more anxious with regard to his color—by now little more than a painting of whites,

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  • Donald Judd

    Castelli Gallery

    Two sculptures by Donald Judd at the Leo Castelli Gallery clarified for me some vague feelings of physical incompleteness and ideological limitation which his large Whitney retrospective last year had suggested. The work looked impressive, spare, and often extraordinarily lucid or elegant, but this with a very bounded sense accomplishment to my eye—as if many half-embodied or half-considered concepts were efficiently cloaked by the technologically clean-cut geometric boxes and fabricated modular units typical of Judd’s mature work. Although he has advocated the abandonment of composition in an

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  • John Chamberlain

    Castelli Warehouse

    The perfect and appropriate setting for a small retrospective of John Chamberlain’s work was the Leo Castelli warehouse on West 108th Street, an immense, concrete floor garage space lacking all the parquet or red-carpeted elegance and cloistered feeling of the downtown gallery, or of galleries in general. Scattered around were a number of wall and floor pieces—the well-known automobile parts crammed and jammed into muscular, abstract conglomerates, lacquered metal shards, a big twisted urethane foam work from 1966, and a room filled with the newer collapsed galvanized zinc sculptures made from

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  • Larry Zox

    Kornblee Gallery

    At the Kornblee Gallery Larry Zox’s flattened, four-pointed stars, single or paired, were radiating a new accented openness of color. During and after his last show Zox evolved this inscribed star format as a less geometrically segmented and systematic, but more discrete and subtle means of projecting both quiet and saturated hues. While a. number of the paintings in this show are unexceptional (such as Weekapaug or Prudhoe, with their blandly white or black central images and tailored edging vectors in neutral shades like plum brown, subdued orange, or yellow ochre), the series as a whole

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  • Lester Johnson

    Martha Jackson Gallery

    One might say that Lester Johnson’s compressed lineups of booted, helmeted, crouching gangs of male figures at the Martha Jackson Gallery are the figurative equivalent of Al Held’s abstract bulk volumes. In canvases scarred and pitted by viscous, encrusted surfaces Johnson shackles dense silhouettes whose delineated flatness and lack of interior articulation contrast to the way in which these bodies are thickly packed into the contours of the field and seem to want to burst out from such confines. A frontal mug shot of anonymous, even threatening figures, Three Men With Hats (1968), describes

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  • Anne Truitt and Richard Friedberg

    Emmerich Gallery and Tibor de Nagy Gallery

    Dressed up minimal and poly-chromed clunky post-Caro—sculptural idioms by now familiar and already somewhat hackneyed—were the works in two exhibitions, Anne Truitt’s at the Emmerich Gallery, and Richard Friedberg’s at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Truitt’s tall, painted rectangular columns are set on thin (one to one and one-half inch) indented and invisible platforms so that these single, flawlessly colored iconic shafts seem to rest in a state of tenuous suspension above the ground. The attempt to make color intrinsic to the most basic, denuded forms—to make this color radiate from within the

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