New York

Isaac Witkin

Robert Elkon Gallery

Isaac Witkin showed six new steel sculptures in a space rented downtown by the Robert Elkon Gallery. The problem for Witkin, and formalist sculpture generally, is finding a way to get away from Anthony Caro’s dominating influence. Witkin seems to have taken a clue from Frank Stella’s newer work by trying to solve the problem in terms of increasing complication. Papageno uses forms which are literally out of Stella’s recent work. The work is a conglomeration of sharp triangular and rhomboid planes, with interior similar shapes cut out. These planes even have a 3” or 4” perpendicular lip like that of a stretcher bar in relation to a stretched canvas. The only element not suggestive of Stella is a circular S-shape, which seems to be there as an added complication (to consider the S as an initial seems going a bit far). The general effect of Papageno is of a three-dimensional steel version of

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