reviews

  • Janet Fish

    Kornblee Gallery

    I’m still wondering why the human figure doesn’t make more of an appearance in New Realist painting. Janet Fish, showing at Kornblee seems to be painting objects that are meant to stand in for the human figure—Windex bottles, olive oil bottles, gin bottles, and such—all standing in little groups usually with their labels averted. There is an essential atmosphere of ,intimacy about these paintings which in fact distinguishes them from what is gathered under the term New Realism. They are far more intimate than Chuck Close’s new portraits, say, from which human expressiveness is eliminated almost

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  • Rafael Ferrer

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    Rafael Ferrer’s installation at the Whitney did not strike me as very successful, though I must admit I’m not yet sure what a successful Ferrer would feel like. He was given the small gallery on the first floor of the museum and made use of the whole space for a single piece. To enter it, one had to crawl through a tiny opening which took the place of the gallery doorway. (This immediately called to mind Keith Sonnier’s piece at the Modern last spring which made use of a diminished doorway. Perhaps Ferrer saw that piece and was impressed by it because I hear that his recent show in Philadelphia

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  • Paul Pechter

    Weber Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, O.K. Harris Gallery, Bykert Gallery, Multiples

    Paul Pechter came up with the ideal show for the holiday season: you get part of it in the mail and then decide whether you want to see the rest at any one of five conveniently located galleries about the city. The announcement card contained the key motif in the show, a line drawn on the front from the top left corner to the center of the right side and continued on the back from the center of the left side to the bottom right corner. Depending upon which way you rotate the card, the line on the back appears either as a repetition of the one on, the front or as a continuation of it; in other

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  • Ray Parker

    School of Visual Arts

    I saw some of Ray Parker’s early paintings for the first time in the show at the School of Visual Arts and they’re not what I would have expected. They reminded me most of Magritte’s pictures of floating rocks such as The Active Voice. Parker’s paintings have areas of paint somehow doing the same thing that Magritte’s rocks do.

    Parker’s canvases are rectangular, predominantly vertical, white fields with one, two, or three lozenge-shaped areas of fairly dark color placed close to their centers; done between 1960 and 1962 they appear to form a sort of series though no mention was made of this. In

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  • Jim Huntington

    Max Hutchinson Gallery

    Jim Huntington may be veering into the territory of difficult sculpture, to judge by his show at Max Hutchinson. The problem with most of the pieces in this show is that they depend too much and too obviously on attachment to the wall and floor. These pieces involve rectangular sheets of colored masonite that are kept warped into arcs by having their edges abutted to pieces of lumber tacked to the wall and/or floor of the gallery. At least one of the wall/floor pieces also uses notched timbers to help keep the masonite bent, and that looks like a toughening element at first. But used in conjunction

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  • Don Eddy

    French & Co.

    There is one painting in Don Eddy’s show at French and Company that I think is first-rate. The fact that it is based on a photograph seems quite justified by the complexity of its illusionism. BMW Showroom II is a picture of two BMWs under some bays of fluorescent light behind a showroom window which reflects with great clarity cars parked and a furniture store over the viewer’s shoulder, as it were. The whole image is an acknowledgment of illusionism, because it is an image of a literal occurrence of illusionism. There is also acknowledgment of the painting’s surface carried by the showroom

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