New York

Michael Todd

Zabriskie Gallery

Michael Todd’s work is not only as tangible as ever, it is also improved, although ultimately the improvement has strange implications. Todd was and still is involved with a linear mode, known as “drawing in space” which originated in the work of David Smith. In Todd’s previous work (exhibited at Reese Palley several years ago), repeated circular elements implied cylindrical volumes and were connected or adorned by additional straight and curved pieces. The regular geometry of the elements always made the basic decorativeness of this work rigid and brittle, like the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. The more recent work was moved away from this volumetric arrangement toward one which is essentially in one plane. And Todd seems to be concentrating on line and on the kinds of elements with which he realizes it. Everything has become loose and fluid, some of the parts bend and curve as if they might collapse. This liveliness is new for Todd, and floppier and funnier than Smith. But the final note of humor is that the quality seems to be a translation, into actually rigid material, of one stressed in Process work, particularly in the use of felt by Morris and rubber by Serra. Todd seems to be an academic sculptor; the improvement, definite as it is, is basically in style, not thinking.

––Roberta Smith