New York

Joyce Kozloff

Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Joyce Kozloff is a young artist (born in 1942), who, in her first one-woman show, interests me because she aspires to a nostalgia and associativeness which other artists of her age have tended to regard as a discredited option. I am not speaking about representational painting—legion are the painters in their twenties who are once more adopting representational causes. I refer to delicate field painting and easy geometrical compositions which derive from numerous sources of the 1950s, even ’40s—Rothko, Baziotes, Tomlin, these artists for their refined colors—and even John Heliker for aspects of a backgammon board-like composition. The tender cast of this work—seen as well in the painting of Kozloff’s teachers, Stephen Greene and Theodore Stamos—is given a particularly Mediterranean reading in the associative titles the artist favors such as Segesta or Agrigento. They serve to further “tenderize” the effect of these deliquescent surfaces. Mossy greens, mousy grays, researched earth colors have a tentativeness about them which makes one speak of “coloration” for hue and “patination” for surface. It would seem that the germinal work both for title association and diffident surface—Loren Maclver’s View of Venice—would serve to damn the present offerings, were it not for the possibility that aspects of Olitski can be shown to derive from this source as well.

Robert Pincus-Witten