• Hector Guimard

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

    The Museum of Modern Art’s survey of the work of Hector Guimard (1867–1942) is a disciplined and admiring resumé of the work of a great Art Nouveau architect-designer-decorator and opens issues that are not so immediately concerned with the purely formalistic or empiricist issues which have dominated most of the large body of research and opinion of the style. This kind of examination usually traces the serpentine contours and eccentric flat shapes of Art Nouveau back to the circle of Gauguin at Pont-Aven. This view is, of course, incontestable but it is also a wild commonplace which F. Lanier

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  • Jean Crotti

    Cordier/Ekstrom Gallery

    Cordier and Ekstrom have mounted one of those perfect historical exhibitions which tend to be overlooked, an exhibition built around the work of an artist whose occasional work, in this case a well-known portrait of Marcel Duchamp, has elicited curiosity about its painter, but about whom little or nothing is known. Jean Crotti (1879–1958), a German-Swiss, had come to know Marcel Duchamp in New York around 1915. At the end of the hostilities of the First World War, he was introduced into the remaining circle of the family—Jacques Villon and Suzanne Duchamp-Villon. In 1919 Crotti married Suzanne.

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  • Howard Mehring

    Sachs Gallery

    The issue that will be stressed in this exhibition is how Howard Mehring had achieved a soaked in, all-over dispersal as early as 1958. To call this effect “Minimal,” as the announcement for this exhibition does, is to misrepresent both the artist’s work and an attitude long subsequent to the artist’s production. These pictures certainly make sense in terms of the prevailing high abstraction of the late 1950s in which all-over painting and stained atmospheres had long been achieved, not only in the then widely admired canvases of Tobey, but those of Rothko and Sam Francis as well. Mehring’s

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  • Peter Young

    Goldowsky Gallery

    It was obvious from his fat dotted paintings on puzzle-figured grounds how deeply into problems derived from the all-overness of Abstract Expressionism Peter Young had gone in 1968. These pictures, still his most mature efforts I believe, were succeeded by smaller canvases tipped into lozenges, monochromatically grounded and maculated with constellations of dots, further clarifying Young’s relationship to late Monet, who is, after all, the progenitor of the all-over problem. Like many seeking artists, Young also appears to have recognized how hollow the tradition of high abstraction to which he

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  • William Pettet

    Whitney Gallery

    Throughout 1968 it grew apparent that American field painting had entered a phase which might easily be called Mannerist; the fields of Frankenthaler and Olitski had been extenuated to extremes of thinness while being modulated according to particular artistic sensibilities. Dan Christensen, for example, adopted the lyrical, the high and the shrill while William Pettet opted for the dry and the blotched. This episode of utter thinness was followed by a thickening of surface—the fat field, an alternative to which most young artists initially drawn into the continuity of field painting, have at

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  • Tom Holland

    Elkon Gallery

    Tom Holland opts for a no sweat modernity which appears to point out acute issues while it really deflates them to the rank of décor. Holland’s work interweaves and joins fiberglass sherds and lengths, speaking for a fascination with elemental problems of joining and construction. While, in Holland’s elaboration, however, the casual trimming, the snipping of the format, the folds and basket weaves, the redoublings back upon the path, the eccentric lengths and figures and the unanticipated relief may appear to speak of a hard Constructivist sensibility, I can only view this as an adjacency of

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  • Robert Moskowitz

    French & Company

    Little seems to have happened to Robert Moskowitz since an auspicious debut in 1962 at Leo Castelli. At the time Moskowitz worked in a vein ancillary to Johns. The large collages of window shades on canvas were permutants of Johns’s Tennyson. Still, a clue of the present work was alluded to, the interior. To say “interior” perhaps falsifies the sense of the paintings because it gives to them an overly specific reference in daily experience. Moskowitz’s image looks very much like a corner of an empty room into which, at the ceiling, there runs a beam, and, often as not, into which, at the floor,

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  • Richard Roth

    O.K. Harris

    Much, perhaps most, of Richard Roth’s pictorial idiom is familiar, yet his work merits some passing appreciation if only because the vast and free scale is striking considering that the surface is glass. The idiom at hand is high Geometrical Minimalism; the technique enamel under glass, a method generally avoided in the 20th century.

    Roth’s references are geometrical. The closest and hardest picture plane is established by a clear grid system, by squares, some painted black, others gold. The spatial illusionism is a coefficient of a rigorously applied isometric perspective, the edgy paralleling

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  • Mondrian

    Pace | 32 East 57th Street

    Certainly the most important thing in the Mondrian show was a reconstruction of the room he designed in 1926 for a certain Mme. B. at Dresden. Notes, designs and color samples for this project, which had never been executed, remained after the artist’s death, and these have been used by the American Cyanamid Co. to make Formica panels such as Mondrian would have intended them. In my opinion this room—or at least this reconstruction of it, since there may be some differences between the replica and the original idea, although it does not seem so—is a failure. If it is compared with the artist’s

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  • Klimt

    Galerie St. Etienne

    Like Mondrian, Klimt is a much better painter than a draftsman—or rather, his paintings are better than his drawings—but this was nevertheless a very worthwhile show. Klimt is an altogether remarkable artist, in my view the finest painter by far outside of France about the turn of the century and as good as anyone in France; but I think that the true qualities of his work have been obscured by the practice, which is current, of assimilating his art to that of others who came after him.

    For me the most striking psychological quality of Klimt’s production is its narcissism. Of anxiety I see almost

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  • Felix Vallotton

    Hirschl and Adler

    It was a very good idea on the part of the Hirschl and Adler Galleries to mount a large show of the work of Felix Vallotton. Vallotton was not by any means a major artist: his interest is rather that, like many good minor artists, he embodies in his work so much of what was going on during his time. The drawback to this is of course the possibility that so many different tendencies might be represented in the work that one cannot find any coherence in the artist’s output as a whole. This is certainly what happened with Vallotton, and whether or not one was disappointed in the show must have

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  • Impressionism

    Wildenstein Gallery

    There is little to say about the big show of Impressionism that was held at Wildenstein. I indicate very clearly elsewhere in this issue why I think surveys of this kind are not especially interesting as ensembles, however much some of the works may have to offer singly; and in addition—perhaps it has to do with the famous “radicalization” of the intellectuals!—I seem to have lost touch with the upper Fifth and upper Park Avenue public which attended the show in large numbers and, from what I could see, found it new and stimulating. The quality of the paintings was high, the hanging a bit crowded

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