reviews

  • John Walker, Tim Scott, Isaac Witkin, and recent acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art

    Reese Palley, Lawrence Rubin, Elkon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art

    Recent English art, when shown in New York, has too often been found short on toughness or evidencing a softened interpretation of American idioms. Behind these complaints is the idea that it suffers from what has been called (in this journal) European “humanizing qualities” irreconcilable with the sturdy primitivism indigenous to the American tradition. The problem with this point of view is that what might be accepted as a descriptive statement (that differences of nationality and tradition do affect art) is frequently assumed to be a value judgment (that this European “sensibility” inevitably

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  • Karl Schrag, Michael Goldberg, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Harriet Korman, Frank Lincoln Viner, Materials and Methods: A New View

    Associated American Artist Gallery, Paley & Lowe Gallery, Tibor de Nagy Gallery

    A retrospective exhibition of the graphic production of KARL SCHRAG is a serious occasion which might easily pass unnoticed. Schrag is one of the few figures of note who is, in an exclusive sense, a graphic artist (Una Johnson’s catalog raisonné lists 175 items executed between 1939 and 1970) and who, while clearly outside of fashion or school, has exercised a beneficent influence on the history of graphics in America by virtue of a long teaching career at Cooper Union and his tenure as director of Atelier 17, the French graphics workshop in exile which was organized by William Stanley Hayter

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  • Carl Andre, George Segal, Larry Bell, and John Chamberlain

    Dwan Gallery, Sidney Janis Gallery, Pace Gallery, and Castelli Gallery

    I find the experience of CARL ANDRE’s sculpture difficult to describe but hardly empty. It is not just the spareness of the work that accounts for this I think, but a combination of things; the way the formal rationale of the work seems to be leading down a path toward something like pointing rather than speaking, the way the impersonality of the sculpture seems to be transferred to oneself. And when one tries to work out a way of placing Andre’s work so that it does assume the significance, “art,” one feels that the work is closely tied to the power of speech. In the best experience of the

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  • Tony Smith, Group Show at Paula Cooper Gallery, Sam Francis, and Larry Zox

    Having an exhibition at Knoedler’s seven years after your first one-man show must be like coming out leather-bound soon after becoming a paperback. This TONY SMITH has done, showing works from 1962 onwards—most of them centering on 1969. There seems to be an attempt to style him a genius along the lines of, say, David Smith, but much of Tony’s work—in fact the large body of it—simply doesn’t measure up to David’s. Some of these works are a hell of a lot bigger than David Smith’s, but that is actually part of the problem: Tony Smith is good at proportion but pretty shaky on scale. Basically, he

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  • Ronald Bladen, Robert Hudson, Jim Dine, and Allan Hacklin

    Fischbach Gallery, Frumkin Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery, and Parsons Gallery

    I must admit my reaction to ROBERT HUDSON’s recent sculpture at the Allan Frumkin Gallery was one of visual confusion linked with a sense of aggressive, almost nasty tastelessness. The works in this show—with the exception of one piece, Whip—evaded orderly experience. It was as if Hudson were playing a medley of hit tunes with humor and style, but stopping each melody and going on to the next just short of your recognition of what he was playing.

    No artist has to be consistent, but the variety of materials and manners in these pieces was overwhelming. Steel, polyvinyl, wood, concrete, clay . .

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  • Mel Ramos, Richard Hunt, Ralston Crawford, Max Weber, Ingres in Rome

    French and Co., Museum of Modern Art, Zabriskie Gallery, Bernard Danenberg

    At the risk of myself ending my meteoric career, I have to say that I was not at all put off by the recent work of MEL RAMOS The paintings consist of nude pin-ups, with more or less the contours they used to have in the drawings of Petty and Varga, juxtaposed with some animal (usually hideous) against a ground whose flatness is often accentuated by a border. The girls’ postures are sometimes provocative, but the work is certainly not exciting enough to be called erotic, at least not by my definition of the word—it’s just sexy; but there’s nothing wrong with that.

    It will seem crazy, but I thought

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