• Manny Farber

    Ruth S. Schaffner Gallery

    Manny Farber exhibits large, nameless abstractions of collaged paper which give the impression, at least, of having been soaked in dye. The resulting blotches and streaks are “natural,” rather funky, and process-conscious, in contrast to the crisp and sometimes unexpected geometric profiles of the pieces. In most of the works, also, freely swirled streaks or ruled lines of paint act as a foil to the “natural” rhythm and design of the coloring process these are the more interesting pieces.

    Farber has been teaching in Southern California since 1970, and shares the local feeling for orchidaceous

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  • Sam Francis

    Otis Institute Gallery

    In an exhibition of works in progress, Sam Francis displays four major canvases which bring his (sometimes cyclic) evolution up to date. In two of these, Francis’ bands jag and collide in their familiar, delicately balanced “random” formations. In the others, a grid pattern is formed: one has nearly perfect squares, like the warp and woof of some fabric, incredibly magnified; the other has rectangles with a few diagonals transecting the plane as Broadway traverses midtown Manhattan.

    The bands lose nothing of their interest in forming these grids; their anecdotal and gestural richness is, if

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  • Jim de France

    Janus Gallery

    Also working out the possibilities of bands or bars is Jim de France. Always characterized by intelligence and reserve, de France’s new work is pleasingly spruce, elegantly simple. Flat, monochromatic canvases of pale colors—yellow, peach, cream—are transected by narrow stripes as Minimal and elegant as the custom pinstriping on a Malibu Colony Rolls.

    These stripes of orange, grayish-green or grayish-blue intersect in such a way as to imply the existence of wider or narrower bars, with the stripes as edge or separation. All lines are on the diagonal; the bars (or stripes) seem to enter the plane

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  • Robert Cremean

    Mekler Gallery

    Picasso supposedly said, when reproached for the “ugliness” of one of his early Cubist paintings, “What comes after can be beautiful.” Sixty years after the fact, Robert Cremean is still working out basically Cubist tenets in his sculpture—while in the meantime the revolutionary has become the academic. Cremean is an academic sculptor but, as we’ve learned of the 19th century, the academic also has its merits. Cremean is a very impressive academic sculptor; his work can be both interesting and beautiful.

    The Mekler Gallery show (there’s a concurrent, and I think less impressive, exhibition at

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