reviews

  • Arthur Dove

    Dintenfass Gallery

    The Arthur Dove collages, which are largely concentrated in the 1920s, allude to curious and important historical problems. As a painter, Dove is associated with the tradition of landscape, which seeks to find signs or other visual equivalents for the landscape experience. In this desire Dove can be associated, say, with early Georgia O’Keeffe and that first phase of William Zorach’s career which he spent as a painter. In short, their landscape painting derives from aspects of Futurist theory. Remember, it was the Futurist who sought “unique forms” and “dynamic hieroglyphs.”

    But, Dove’s collages

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  • Bob Duran

    Bykert Gallery

    Recently, I attempted to create a rationale for the seeming happenstance placements of Richard Van Buren’s eccentrically shaped plastic. reliefs in terms of similar shapes found at the same time in Bob Duran’s painting of 1968–1969. The beauty of Duran’s present exhibition makes it clear that we must now clarify his development in terms of his own painting. The first mature works of which one became aware dealt with a means of structuring a surface attracted to erratic shapes, but which at the same time sought artistic confirmation in the retention of certain serial or Minimalist ploys. Duran’s

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  • Alan Cote

    Reese Palley Gallery

    Were the large paintings of Alan Cote first shown in 1966 or 1967, I suspect that this young artist would have been received as a figure of considerable rank. As it is, those aspects of his work which so clearly derive from middle Stella, early Poons and early Avedisian, while not exactly discrediting the present paintings, nonetheless locate them in a stream of New York taste which while still lovely, has become, at least to me, a displaced center. But the pictures are tremendously likeable. The grounds are firmly and evenly colored. Dispersed across them are sharp rod-like shapes, snip-ended,

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  • Peter Reginato

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    The exhibition of Peter Reginato’s welded steel sculptures presents problems concerning the relationship of a young artist to the Constructivist/Cubist idiom. Widely rejected on the basis of its familiarity there are, however, certain Constructivist/Cubist inferences, say, within the affirmative character of Richard Serra’s axiomatic structures. By contrast, the strain which Reginato emphasizes deals in the plane, shape and scale comparisons inherent in the tradition of Cubist sensibility. In this respect Reginato’s work may be compared to Michael Steiner’s recent steel structures although he

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  • Elliot Lloyd

    Sachs Gallery

    Two young artists involved in the evolution of color painting present difficult works because they so largely run against the stream of present sensibility. Elliot Lloyd prefers a downbeat range of color which he organizes in overlapping transparencies. The shapes have the same casualness of “arrival” that the silhouetted configuration of the canvas support does. My resistance to the work is largely based on the organic connotations inherent in the template-like shapes which characterize both the image and the stretcher system. Breast and nipple profiles often are brushily alluded to. In making

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  • John Gundelfinger

    John Bernard Myers Gallery

    John Gundelfinger is more complex since his color painting of particularly bilious and noxious ranges—on purpose—end up about bosky landscape painting. The technique employs the vicissitudes of lyric abstraction but throws it into the tradition of the loose monotype landscapes of Degas’ and Monet’s acidulated views of Westminster Bridge and the Ducal Palace in Venice. In both, the problem, for me at least, is the confrontation between the historical location—late Impressionism—of the image vis-à-vis the vernacular of recent wrinkles in field painting. In both, it is the history which is more

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  • Peter Passuntino

    Sonraed Gallery

    The relationship of still a third artist to history is perhaps even more arresting. It must be assumed that it is fully clear to Peter Passuntino that he employs compositional devices lifted from Arcimboldo, Surrealist anthropomorphism, Picasso, Ensor, and tinker-like aspects of American folk vernacular, so much so that to point out these obvious sources is to miss the point of his work entirely. Passuntino doesn’t remotely deny his swipes, nor does he wittily parody them. They are just there, junk, useful to polemical ends.

    What is more interesting is that Passuntino’s thickly applied, stubbly

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  • Charles Ross

    Dwan Gallery

    Something was still missing from Charles Ross’ “Sunlight Dispersions” at Dwan that might have made them major art; still, they were the most purposeful and interesting of Ross’s works that I’ve seen. The formal interest of his prisms has always been slight, and the use of them to connect optical and sculptural space seemingly as a foil for Constructivism has always struck me as a one-shot idea. But the dispersion events finally began to put the prisms to work.

    Ross arranged a battery of horizontal prisms to fill the frame of a window in his studio and then filmed the spectra produced by incident

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  • Ray Parker

    Fischbach Gallery

    Common to the recent paintings Ray Parker showed at Fischbach was the fact that they all tended to read inward without being spatial. Consequently they seemed to represent various strategies for getting from the edge to the center of the canvas without breaking the surface. Yet they were not really centrally focused; their concern seemed to be for maintaining that interiority of the painting’s surface which would secure the integrity of the painting as an entity, but not as an object. This they did quite well but not in such ways that one felt much to be at stake. The cutout forms that Parker

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  • Herbert Bayer

    Marlborough Gallery | New York

    Herbert Bayer once designed some emergency bank notes for the Thuringian government, probably the best-looking currency of modern times, which became worthless a few days after being issued, due to an inflationary devaluation. Well, inflation is upon us again, though hardly as drastic this time, and Bayer, with a truly distinguished reputation as a designer, has been at work on the more stable tender of paintings and other objects shown at Marlborough (where else?). It may be safe to say that one of the things distinguishing art from (mere) design is that works of art get made for a special

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  • Edward Dugmore

    Green Mountain Gallery

    Edward Dugmore has been painting in what is recognizably an Abstract Expressionist mode for about fifteen years. His current show is distinguished by highly personal draftsmanship that carries his work beyond nostalgia. Dugmore’s line is scratchy, drippy and sure. With brush or crayon, he limns in rounded, crotchy female forms. Buttocks, breasts and hips butt against each other like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The drawing is vigorous. Sometimes aloft, sometimes sagging, it gives the gross forms a feeling of inflated weightlessness. When line dominates, as in two or three larger can-vases of 1970 that

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  • Nancy Graves

    Resse Palley Gallery

    It becomes clear from Nancy Graves’ current show at Reese Palley that the camels were a way-station for her. They enabled the artist to move away from the art going on around her and into unique visual territory where she can now work with tremendous facility, control of materials and imagination to create art of extreme originality. So it’s good to see the camels go, bones and all. They were too close to the meticulous model-making of the Museum of Natural History to declare themselves apart from that craft—even though in declaring them her art took courage and strength of conviction.

    In her

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  • Keith Hollingworth

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    Keith Hollingworth’s sculpture at Paula Cooper is more circumscribed in this respect than Graves’ is. It depends more on the power of a specific image than on the open-ended evocation of Graves’ work. It counts on incongruity for its impact: the unexpected introduction of real objects from nature (pine cones, feathers) set in cleanly constructed wooden boxes and frames. His pieces seem to exist in the imagination, much as Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel did, rather than in three-dimensional space. The artist emphasizes this quality of immateriality by painting his wood and metal frames white or some

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  • G. E. Moore

    O.K. Harris Gallery

    G. E. Moore has a lot of ideas, but hasn’t had the opportunity to work enough of them through in physical actuality to get a sure grip on his materials. There are sensations he would like his sculpture to convey: of force so precariously’ balanced that a palpable feeling of physical threat or potential danger is created. But he has been stymied by difficulties in the execution of his proposed pieces in a real space, and these problems interfere with the impact of his work.

    Walking into the first room at O.K. Harris, the viewer is confronted by a long strip of black rubber stretching from ceiling

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  • Ken Price

    David Whitney Gallery

    Ken Price’s humor gets its ceramic mileage from a perverse play on precious bric-a-brac collected by maiden aunts everywhere. His current show at the David Whitney Gallery is of small objects that look like Tiffany-colored turds. They are small piles of clay set on grandiose, impeccably crafted wooden bases that could be Formica but aren’t. Their color, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, is most reminiscent of the sheen on putrescent flesh. They are in exquisite bad taste.

    —Kasha Linville

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  • Robyn Denny

    Elkon Gallery

    One traditional way of creating a distinguished looking art through sobriety has been to deal with closely related and restrained colors in very simple and clear formats and to make a series of paintings as investigations of a narrowly limited theme: This is a commonplace of modern painting. But that this itself is no guarantee of good painting has equally been proven. It does, however, often seem to guarantee at least some kind of modest honesty of effect, as if we recognize this as a respectable concern even though we can’t always feel happy about the range of results achieved. And I found

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  • Ernest Trova and Robert Graham

    Pace Gallery and Sonnabend Gallery

    One recognizes, however, the changes Denny is making in wishing to disentangle himself from his past image, and it could well turn out that these are transitional works and better things are to come. At least we see here an unashamed attempt to deal directly with formal concerns. The same cannot be said of either Ernest Trova at Pace or Robert Graham at Sonnabend, who while seeming at first sight to be about very different things are usefully illuminated by being seen together. For a start, they both derive ultimately from Giacometti, both are basically toy-makers and both are purveyors of

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