New York

John Hoyland

Andre Emmerich Downtown

John Hoyland’s paintings at Emmerich downtown are subject to the same nonproblems, but there does seem to be some evidence of thought in his work, and his work can be considered as something of a commentary on these nonproblems. Basically, three sorts of things go on in Hoyland’s new paintings: staining and drip-staining which forms the ground of each painting; squeegeed rectangular shapes of thick acrylic; and thick blobs of acrylic which appear to have been splattered against the canvas. Within this methodology, there are, at the extremes, two kinds of paintings. Some of the paintings are an obvious continuation of the strong influence of Hans Hofmann, in which rectangular squeegeed shapes occupy the center of the canvas and move out almost to its edges; in some of these paintings, the shape is an irregular right-angled shape, and in others, a set of overlapping rectangles. Between the edges of the rectangular squeegeed shapes and the canvas are lots of drip-staining and thick blobs of acrylic; in these paintings, most of the action occurs in this area, and this area becomes a kind of pressure zone. The rest of the paintings in Hoyland’s show can be considered in terms of these paintings, which are the closest to Hofmann and to Hoyland’s earlier work. The other paintings, considered in these terms, present basically the same situation, but the size of the squeegeed rectangular shapes progressively diminishes in relation to the overall size of the paintings. Thus at the other extreme, in 26.8.72 for example, the rectangular shapes are reduced to near obscurity while the staining and blobs take over the whole painting to produce a look similar to the look of recent Poons. By the progressive reduction in the scale relation between the squeegeed shapes and areas occupied by staining and blobs, the pressure zone expands to a point where all sense of pressure is lost. All of the paintings in Hoyland’s show have the same kind of coloring, a combination of muted pastel colors dominated by an overall rose color. The most depressing thought about Hoyland’s show is the possibility that it represents only the transference of his allegiance from Hofmann to Poons; not that I have anything in particular against Poons, it’s just that that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

––Bruce Boice