reviews

  • Barnett Newman

    Knoedler And Co.

    The show of work done by Barnett Newman between 1960 and the present was a great disappointment, and there are still other reasons why it is not an interesting show to review. The principal one is that the issues it raises have been settled for some time. It is not important to ask, for example, why a painter who paints this kind of picture, and who has in the past shown himself to be so very sensitive about the respect paid to his work, should allow his paintings to be hung on brown velvet walls, as half of them are, and under uneven lighting, as most of them are. One can suppose it is because

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  • Jackson Pollock

    Marlborough-Gerson Gallery

    The things in the Jackson Pollock show are of mixed but generally poor quality, but they do give a fair idea of what Pollock’s production as a whole was like, miscellaneous though this particular selection may be. The bulk of the show consists of a number of paintings from 1950–51, and these are supplemented by two groups of drawings, one from the early forties and the other from 1950–52. What the show leaves to one side, then, are the three or four years starting about 1947 during which Pollock did his best and his only important work, and this show was certainly a depressing one, in large part

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  • Gaston Lachaise

    Robert Schoelkopf Gallery

    The retrospective exhibition organized by the Gaston Lachaise Foundation has at last arrived in New York City after touring these past two years and it is an event of capital importance––although it may pass relatively unnoticed. The oeuvre of the French-born and naturalized American sculptor who died in 1935, with its phenomenal mid-career shift from an extreme of classical poise to an unparalleled hedonism and sexual expressionism, is one of the most curious, nagging and still only superficially considered productions of a self-evident genius.The Foundation’s recent casting of unknown late

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  • Morris Louis

    Andre Emmerich Gallery

    Clement Greenberg––the catalog merely identifies him as “a friend of the artist”––purportedly was reminded of the following passage from Ulysses on first seeing this group of paintings in Morris Louis’s studio toward the end of 1958: “Near bronze from anear near gold from afar . . .” Whether or not this bit of apocrypha is true is quite beside the point––pertinent is, however, the aptness of the literary tag “Bronze Veils” in so justly conveying the character of these works. The evolution of Morris Louis’s painting suggests that, in 1958, he may have felt a lack of structural or tectonic strength

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  • Charles Ross

    Candace Dwan Gallery

    There is a wide group of young artists interested in the physical properties of plastic––attracted especially by sleek surfaces fashioned into geometrical forms and buffed to a high polish. In the case of small objects of this kind (I think particularly of those by Peter Alexander), I have tended to be mistrustful, regarding them as I would objets de luxe, rather like the kind of things one finds displayed on lucite coffee tables, akin in their preciousness to French meteorological toys or Italian paperweights designed by Bruno Munari. On one level the sense of the luxury object is still apparent

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  • Peter Agostini

    Radich Gallery

    “Drawings and Small Sculptures from the ’40s to the Present” is an exquisite exhibition that does not attack a survey of Peter Agostini’s sculptural contributions on an ambitious scale. Economic and organizational problems forestall such an examination to a later time. The Radich installation focuses instead on the small product, the clay statuette, the overlooked plaster, the small bronze, and, most importantly, a broad run of drawings which traces Agostini’s, many felicitous alterations of the Surrealizing Expressionist style, developed here during the Second World War. In the earliest work,

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  • Joe Brainard and Paul Thek

    Multiple Galleries

    In my criticism I have tried to avoid merely gratuitous observations—for reasons that are evident, not the least of them being the futile vanity inherent in calling shots. Still, I would like to record my negative response to the recent exhibitions of the work of Joe Brainard and Paul Thek if only because their present offerings may render doubtful the claims which have already been put forth in defense of these artists. Joe Brainard, some four or five years back, if I remember correctly, attracted the free spirits easily moved by the surrealizing poetics of accumulations of cheap manufactured

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  • Alan Shields

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    Although barely farther uptown or more accessible to the general public than most New York artists’ studios the Paula Cooper Gallery (a second floor loft in the downtown factory district), housed one of the most exciting and surprising one-man shows of the season. Kansas-born Alan Shields has shown only one or two of his earlier machine-stitched unpainted canvas “hangings” previously; in a group exhibition which opened the same gallery, and in a “Soft Art” show currently at the Trenton State Museum (which does no justice to his concerns). It is difficult to call these first attempts paintings

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  • Peter Alexander

    Elkon Gallery

    At the Elkon Gallery, Californian Peter Alexander was seen in his first full East Coast exhibition, although several of his luminously elegant cast plastic cubes and wedges have been shown at random in the gallery and recently in the Whitney’s Sculpture Annual. Alexander’s characteristic medium is a wedge-shaped pinkish or lavender/blue/grey delicately slender object, partially transparent, which catches, reflects and diffuses light as it passes through the prismatic density of the piece. Neither fully object, nor fully treated as illusion in the pictorial sense, the work situates itself somewhere

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  • Peter Young

    Castelli Gallery

    The work of painter Peter Young has not yet been exhibited in a one-man show in New York, although several group shows in the past season have included his canvases. The Corcoran Biennial in Washington, D.C., provided a three year look at the rather inexplicably drastic alternations his thinking has gone through during this period. A recent exhibition shared with another young New Yorker, David Diao, at the Castelli Gallery also aired three newer paintings in the “dot” series from 1968. At his best Young combines a delicate touch and a range of often surprisingly pastel color with a conceptual

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  • Marilyn Lerner

    Zabriskie Gallery

    Offering herself some lively and refreshing alternatives to Minimal art or to other current trends such as process oriented sculpture, conceptualized projects, or earthworks, Marilyn Lerner makes her one-man debut at the Zabriskie Gallery. With accomplished craft Miss Lerner displays a heterogeneous group of laminated wood sculptures, sometimes encased in plastic, sprayed partially with bright color, softly dyed, varnished to a high gloss, or simply left to expose the natural textures of the different woods used in laminating. It is obvious from this first show that the printmaker turned sculptress

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  • Robert Mangold

    Fischbach Gallery

    Moving away from the subtle color modulated bending surfaces of his earlier chasuble shaped panels, at the Fischbach Gallery Robert Mangold showed a series of scored masonite works in flat colors which shift his concerns towards a more puritan and literal approach to the shaping of his paintings. Mangold now prefers to create the sense of a flat surface being spatially warped by means of carefully worked out diagonal and vertical incisions which form subdivided triangle and parallelogram shapes within the ochre, khaki green or greyed-blue fields. Vectors, X’s, and pie-slice areas section these

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