New York

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 words it can appear that one has in hand two different cards, unless there’s a bright light around to hold the card against.

The rest of the show consisted of several multiples all of which were on view at each gallery listed on the announcement. My favorite was the one that followed the model of the announcement card. Like each multiple it was a black loose-leaf notebook containing 16 or 18 pages of what looked like erasable bond typing paper held together in a transparent colorless acetate binder. The work consists of a line (actually a series giving the illusion of a continuous line) zigzagging its way down across the sheets of paper and apparently through their thickness. The line starts at the upper left corner of the first sheet and ends at the lower right corner of the last. What I liked about this piece was the illusion of depth and continuity given by a series of lines on a series of surfaces and nothing more. Also the visual properties of the paper itself were used. Actually this piece allowed you to see a line passing from the literal through the visible and into the conceptual dimension and back out again along the same path. That’s something you don’t see every day, but it’s not much to see either. Nor has it proved much to think about.

Kenneth Baker