New York

Bruce Robbins

Blum Helman Gallery

For some time now abstract art has seemed rather beside the point, a worn-out strain of little contemporary significance. But recently, amidst the sudden plethora of what can be described loosely as figurative work (work that is for the most part too vacuous to be excused even on the grounds of fashion), it has been a pleasure to revisit the careful intelligence of the best nonobjective art. Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt have both taken on new strength, and even Hanne Darboven, with her overblown Christmas carol, looks better than she has for some time. All the more disappointing, then, to come across this exhibit by Bruce Robbins, an exhibit which reminds us not only of the emptiness of much purely formalist work, but also of the silliness of so many of the more “energetic” styles of the moment.

Robbins’ paintings are constructed of bits and pieces of wood and canvas, painted and tacked

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