reviews

  • Garry Rich

    Max Hutchinson Gallery

    Technique in art is not only craft or method but, as Focillon writes, a whole poetry of action permitting the viewer entrance into the heart of problems with which the artist has dealt. Intentions and ideas, as well as the artist’s processes, are aspects of technique both within a single work and in decisions throughout an individual’s life. Since even a narrow set of premises is capable of generating a multitude of forms, technique is able to effect metamorphoses.

    Perhaps the best way to discuss technique is as means of execution, for methods transcending extensions of hand can create important

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  • David Diao

    Resse Palley Gallery

    David Diao, at Reese Palley, has been using the squeegee as a means of drawing for several years. In his earlier paintings, in light, undemanding colors, it was a way of creating texture as color was pulled over color in many directions. Preliminary colors glimmered through subsequent ones, resulting in lyrical, pretty pictures. These new works, more daring than the earlier ones, subject themselves to greater criticism. Diao uses his instrument to draw layers of shiny paint over each other, but they are bright and pancaked into two final, adjacent rectangles which blot out the colors underneath

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  • Philip Wofford

    Emmerich Gallery downtown

    Philip Wofford, at Emmerich Downtown, employs a mouthful of methods—spray, drip, smear, and scrape—as if maximum surface excitation will add depth and variability to the paintings. But, like Rich, he cannot transcend his means of application. If the premise of the work were to create as uncontrolled and outlandish a picture as possible, his intentions would be realized in the use of garish colors and the lack of discrimination in placement. But Wofford is unable to reject his tasteful and sophisticated predilections, for he forms discrete shapes in what appears to be a last moment attempt to

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  • Murray Reich

    Max Hutchinson Gallery

    Murray Reich, at Max Hutchinson, has incorporated into a personal vision what is by now a conventional means of application: staining. Consequently, one has the feeling that he adopted the method as the best way of expressing what he wanted to paint. While some of the works seem too garish, others are as insistent as icons, frontal and symmetrical. The images are obsessive and often illusionistic, like columns or the letter I set against a background. Complementary colors placed against each other create intense colors that appear to result from organic ripplings from a central core. This

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  • Richard Tuttle

    Betty Parsons Gallery

    Technique is an aspect of mind and idea, its language like that of the mind but capable of transfiguring the abilities of the intellect. Physical works are a record of the behavior of forms as they effect the mind through the creation of new data. Brought into the world, they take on a life of their own, instituting new metaphors. Richard Tuttle’s pieces at Betty Parsons demonstrate the amplification of idea in the trying out of forms in the world. In his work, concepts and materials have been transformed into a delicate series of statements. Tuttle has nailed pieces of wire onto the wall at

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  • Gretna Campbell

    Brata Cooperative

    As new techniques arise, transforming the way we see, other skills and modes of perception are irretrievably lost. Frequently, artists are involved in traditional concerns that are completely overlooked. Such seems to be the case with Gretna Campbell, whose landscapes of Maine and France are on exhibition at the Brata gallery. The pictures convey a sense of spontaneity and structure, many small elements are often brought into unity by the defining sweep of a single element, generating large rhythms in space. Campbell captures characteristic forms in nature—trees, leaves, and rocks—showing great

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  • Jean Dupuy

    Sonnabend Gallery

    In Jean Dupuy’s work, nominally of “technological persuasion,” it is the literary and poetical obliquity which is inflected. Were it not for the curious narcissistic infra-references and wry humor of his work I would tend to think of it as no more arresting than any other technologically oriented art, an art of the kind to which I generally have long been indifferent. Like many, I feel that if it moves it probably can’t be art. Perhaps movies are not subject to this injunction, for even in movies the format of the projected image remains constant. Moreover, there is a stillness in the larger

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  • Geoffrey Norfolk

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    What interests me in Geoffrey Norfolk’s work is the slim margin of authenticity accruing to a structural and coloristic position that otherwise can only be understood as a function of the art of the ’60s. Working with eccentric materials (metallic and leather-toned mylars) and eccentric support (direct wall appendage without intermediary stretchers), Norfolk composes within a roughly square configuration altered by two horizonlike incisions. These incisions create a tripartite composition in which the central passage is moved from horizontal to vertical. The “lower horizon” remains the sharp

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  • Terence La Noue

    Paley & Lowe Gallery

    Terence La Noue, by contrast to Norfolk, reverses this duality. I have a special appreciation of Terence La Noue’s work, perhaps in excess even of its authentic worth, but I am constantly delighted by the subtlety of his position despite the many features either derived from emergent post-Minimalism or, at present, shared commonly with the countless body of young artists who have seen through the theoretical inanities of the Minimalist legacy of the ’60s. Since my earlier writing on La Noue (“New York,” Artforum, May, 1971) touched on these shared features, let me only note that the present work

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  • Bill Bollinger

    O.K. Harris Gallery

    Bill Bollinger is difficult, not because the present work is so especially hard but because of the intractability of his formal evolution (an evolution which has characterized much of the post-Minimalist inflection). Throughout his work Bollinger has been attracted by an acute format—very long as against very narrow. This was as true of the extruded aluminum channels with which he emerged into public consciousness in 1966 as it is in the present. The new work, raw wood variations on five foot modules—generally composed of elements that are fifteen feet long—present simple boardwalk-like structures.

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  • Peter Gourfain

    Bykert Gallery

    Peter Gourfain entered public awareness as a painter of geometrical organizations considerably in the debt of Reinhardt, for all their differences in motif—Gourfain’s capsules rather than Reinhardt’s nine square grids. To have broken through this serial and monochromatizing straightjacket marked Gourfain as an artist of remarkable stature, one of enormous inventiveness, who, like Bollinger, was able to redirect the thrust of the sculpture of the later ’60s. Unlike Bollinger, who has tended toward errant dispositions, Gourfain has tended to extrapolate on the extraordinary discovery he made in

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  • Rosemarie Castoro

    Tibor De Nagy Gallery

    Rosemarie Castoro’s ensembles of standing panels look like they come out of an attempt to take painting off the wall. Forcing a painting to stand free (or to lean, as John McCracken does it) is a way of asserting that certain literal elements of a painting are sculptural. She reduces marking on the surface to the most sculptural element in painting or drawing, namely modeling, but a kind of magnified, allover treatment which is more understood than seen as modeling. Each surface is plastered with a layer of gesso and paste and then scored with a coarse brush. When this mixture has dried, it is

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  • Ethelyn Honig

    55 Mercer Street Cooperative

    Ethelyn Honig works in encaustic, which is somehow fitting since her last name is the German word for “honey.” She showed a number of recent paintings at the Mercer Street Coop. Her interest in these paintings is in a certain material appearance; she does not intend them to be paintings of a certain kind of material, they are very remote from figuration. Nor does she really want the paintings to deny themselves as paintings, though she is interested, she says, in working on a mural scale so that the surface limits might exceed the spectator’s view. Yet one’s recognition of her works as paintings

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