New York

Lucas Samaras

Pace Gallery, Pace/Macgill Gallery

Lucas Samaras had three shows open at once. At the Wildenstein Gallery he showed pastels from four decades. Today his pastels from the late ’50s look like the very best of the latest thing, which they actually are in retroactive fact: Samaras was way ahead of the time by being outside it. Spatial isolation is easy; temporal isolation is like magic, and it’s only part of Samaras’ pastel magic. That magic is the modern moves in a time-capsule nutshell, semi-self-buried and now sprouting wildly in the work of Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, a cast of thousands, and himself.

The all-new stuff was at Pace and Pace/MacGill. Pace showed heads and chairs. The heads are black ink wash on paper, the paper chewed into radical shapes with pinking shears, the ink washed into demonic vortical whorls. The faces are like dream-time versions of the faces of the figures that the bomb imprinted on the

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