reviews

  • Robert Morris

    Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

    At first glance, from the ground floor of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Robert Morris’ Labyrinth looks like one of his earlier Minimal pieces: a fiberglass or plywood ring (here, masonite), painted his usual very light gray. But it is 8 feet high and 30 feet in diameter—therefore more barrenly intimidating, a sort of unearthly gas tank in a museum. I enter aslant, through its straight, narrower than me, bisecting passageway. About 2 yards ahead, the left wall curves convexly out of view to the right. So begins the first gambit of the labyrinth. I think of words starting with “m”: misgiving,

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  • Judith Bernstein

    Philadelphia Civic Center

    I’m beginning this month’s reviews with an unprecedented—and not to be repeated—parenthesis, that will remind us all of where we really are. Judith Bernstein is a painter who draws enormous penises in that most traditional of materials, charcoal. One of these was accepted for a woman’s art exhibition in the Philadelphia Civic Center. Then a John Pierron, executive director of the center, stepped in and vetoed it. This flagrant piece of middle-American aggressiveness has resulted in Marcia Tucker, one of the show’s jurors, withdrawing her support of the exhibition, the circulation of a predictably

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  • Wolf Kahn

    Grace Borgenicht Gallery

    “Things to ignore” Wolf Kahn once wrote, “The fads of the moment.” This landscape painter for more than 20 years apparently refers to ephemeral artistic conceits and ideologies of the city, without interest in distinguishing these from more lasting ideas, or basic accomplishments, equally irrelevant to his interests. In Kahn’s work, whether oil or pastel, an atavistic mind holds on, cultivating its episodes of private observation, the quaint, quietist individual reflexes and moods drawn in through the artist’s lone eyes before nature, and later rendered complete in the studio. There are hundreds

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