New York

Ann Norton

The Clocktower

Ann Norton’s recent show consisted of six large vertical wood sculptures, 41 watercolor drawings and some documentary photographs of this sculptor’s major efforts—a cluster of big brick abstract “monuments” erected in her backyard in West Palm Beach. Norton showed and was known in New York forty years ago, and to a certain extent some of the interest in this show was in wondering what she is up to now. But if this is the work of a practically unknown older artist, and one working in a definitively provincial situation, it is nevertheless of considerable interest.

It testifies, for one thing, to the enduring pertinence of certain Brancusian insights into the intrinsically sculptural properties of “dressed” but unadulterated timbers, a concern that still marks contemporary sculpture (Di Suvero, Andre, Grosvenor). Norton’s wood sculptures are more worked—actually even carved—than that might

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