• Peter Voulkos

    Braunstein/Quay Gallery

    “I began to understand what art was all about through clay; I hadn’t even known what I was doing as a painter. Clay is an intimate thing—just beautiful! It’s a blob of nothing, then the minute you touch it, it moves.”

    Peter Voulkos began as a painter and received his graduate degree in ceramics. But, through a combination of attending Black Mountain College in 1953 and meeting the Japanese master potter Hamada, he was intoxicated with the power and potential of ceramics as a high-art medium. Voulkos accepted the Japanese Tea Masters’ esthetic of the Zen idea of the embraced accident applied to

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  • Lynda Benglis

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    There is a bit of an air of a used-car showroom when confronting Lynda Benglis’s recent show. At first it seemed to be a rerun of the poured polyurethane pieces cast in metal. It appeared she had done what the tradition of modern sculpture indicates all established sculptors do. They work in perishable substances in their youth and when they have achieved a modicum of financial success, they go back and cast the early work in more durable materials. But Benglis’s casting of the foam pieces in metal is indicative of a new direction in her work. When she executed the foam sculptures, she was

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  • Katherine Porter

    David McKee Gallery

    Katherine Porter’s early work resembled the design esthetic of Micronesian textiles where an overall pattern in large geometrics is established by the weaver and is then interrupted by inserts of smaller versions of the larger design. The inserts in Porter’s paintings differ frequently from the textiles in their ultimate effect. They rend the flatness of her edge-to-edge painterly zig-zag system, breaking down the textilelike quality of the surface, and allow an illusion of space passing through sections of her canvases.

    Imitating Agnes Martin spiritually if not actually, when Porter moved from

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  • Gilbert and George

    Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery

    Normally, Gilbert and George (Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore) are the direct subject of their work, either through their performances as living sculptures, or through the flotsam and jetsam of the documentation of their passage or projected passage through particular spaces, times, or events. The documentation takes the form of deliberately antiquing drawings and photographs of themselves in situ and the usual ephemeral matter, such as match boxes and cocktail napkins, which record one’s presence in a specific locale.

    In the present “sculptures,” they use a more depersonalized medium, old

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  • Alice Aycock, Jacki Apple, Martha Wilson, and Rita Myers

    112 Greene Street

    Alice Aycock’s constructed wooden scaffolding with ladders and the two drawings shown with it for towerlike buildings—Study for a Hexagonal Building and Study for a Building with Footholds for Climbing the Walls may be seen as the pendant to her recent Project for a Network for Underground Wells and Tunnels, built in the fall of 1975 in Far Hills, New Jersey. When I asked Aycock why she built a scaffolding, she answered that when she goes outdoors she builds down and when she is inside she builds up. The scaffolding looks like a giant jungle-gym, a participative play structure in the genre of

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  • Joel Shapiro

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    The five sculptures in Joel Shapiro’s previous exhibition often functioned as tiny points upon which pivoted enormous volumes of empty space. His recent show contained 18 sculptures. This immediately suggests a change: space is now drawn more closely toward, and into, his sculpture than before. The new pieces encompass interior space in many different ways; it is implied, partially glimpsed or openly displayed. They seem larger in size, and some of them really are, but mainly the scale is clearer, which makes them appear bigger. The piece in his previous exhibition most involved with interior

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  • Kenneth Noland

    Andre Emmerich Gallery downtown

    The paintings of Kenneth Noland have always been very “fast,” to use Michael Fried’s adjective. They must be grasped at once, in a single visual gulp. Otherwise they are likely to escape entirely and leave an impression of skimpiness.

    The six new works Noland exhibited suggested a slowing down, a kind of energy crisis within a formal approach which was nonetheless very efficient. Their origin lies in problems Noland has been grappling with throughout his career.

    Noland has always been concerned with bringing the viewer’s sense of what the picture showed into line with what it was. His paintings

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  • Garry Winogrand and Roger Mertin

    Light Gallery

    Garry Winogrand is a girl-watcher with a camera. He is the skilled practitioner of a variant on the “decisive moment” style of photography, deliberately inflecting that style with more amateurish qualities than a Cartier Bresson or even a Lee Friedlander would tolerate. Winogrand’s style—as his show and new book Women Are Beautiful demonstrate—works best when individual images are linked as variants on a theme. Winogrand’s stated theme here is “making beautiful” all the women he observes on New York streets, in the MOMA sculpture garden, at the races or on the beach.

    Winogrand’s work is a record

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