• Jo Baer

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    The early work of Jo Baer is often described as Minimalist. Featured in group shows with pieces by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Morris throughout the ’60s, her geometric canvases (presented singly, in serial pairs, or diptychs) were seen as pictorial counterparts to the Minimal object. Not everyone subscribed to this characterization of Baer’s work, least of all the Minimalists themselves, who held radically divergent views of painting. Judd and Flavin took the most extreme position, rejecting the medium out of hand for its implicit illusionism, its suggestion of a rational consciousness

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  • John Coplans

    Andrea Rosen Gallery

    With these recent works John Coplans shows a mastery of surface from which comes a singular beauty, Mozartian in its development: strong forms and specific emotions evolve swiftly, imperceptibly, mysteriously into others. The pictures’ rhetorical modes (expository, lyrical, dramatic) vary rapidly and sharply, as do the pleasures of the surface (surprise, delight, astonishment, charm, wonder). Saving it all from being merely gorgeous are a knowledge of the body’s expressiveness and a complex infrastructure of forms worked into inventive, overlaid abstract compositions. Thus, Coplans directs the

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  • Richard Poussette-Dart

    Knoedler & Company

    This first posthumous exhibition of the pioneering American Abstract Expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart does his reputation little good. Knoedler’s selection (fourteen paintings, mostly large; seven small watercolors) revealed a competent but mediocre professional whose work belies much of what has been said about it.

    True, he could put paint on canvas, and, at surface level, had a prodigious vocabulary of means and effects. He could paint thin and flat and thick impasto; make purple daubs glitter like jewels, patches of white paint seem liquid, whole paintings resemble stained glass; seamless

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  • Jessica Stockholder

    Dia Art Foundation

    Take a short walk through Jessica Stockholder’s Your Skin In This Weather Bourne Eye-Threads & Swollen Perfume, 1995: screaming-neon-green linoleum runner (made complete only by the appearance of scuff marks—street-colored, boot-shaped—trailing in your wake) starting in the entry hall outside the downstairs gallery, leading up to sky-blue concrete climbing up the far wall inside; the wall itself white, punctuated by blocks of color—pink, yellow, sky blue, dark blue, orange, hunter green. The other walls white white. Especially when seen against the pale-pink carpet block, itself suspended from

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  • Alice Neel

    Robert Miller Gallery

    Alice Neel embarked on motherhood with singularly negative feelings about it. “I had my first baby in Cuba, without anything to alleviate the pain. It was frightful! Eight hours of intense agony!” That baby died of diphtheria in 1927. Her second, Isabetta, was born in 1928, the year Neel painted her expressionistic Well Baby Clinic, in which grotesque mothers tend horrid babies: “I wondered how that woman could be so happy, with that little bit of hamburger she’s fixing the diaper for.” By 1930, Isabetta had been taken away to Cuba; Neel remained in New York to have a nervous breakdown. “I should

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  • Lucio Fontana

    Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

    In the United States, Lucio Fontana is perhaps most famous for being underrated. Everyone knows he is a significant artist, but many have difficulty codifying the reasons for his renown. And then there is the suspicion that he was perhaps merely the perpetrator of a facile formula (How many of those slashed monochromes did he turn out anyway?). This selection of paintings and ceramics from the ’50s and ’60s may not provide adequate material for a broadened comprehension of Fontana’s work—his career was so long and various, encompassing precocious examples of installation art, neon sculpture,

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  • Cathy de Monchaux

    Sean Kelly Gallery

    Like Rachel Whiteread or Grenville Davey, among other British sculptors of her generation, Cathy de Monchaux is warping aspects of the Minimalist vocabulary toward metaphoric ends. Most of the works here show her to be more interested than her peers in the object’s potential for reduplication and seriality; that is, most of them work by the multiplication of similar parts. In de Monchaux’s hands, however, modularity evokes not just industrial manufacture, but a distinctly biological, corporeal dimension as well, whether the implication is of cells, organs, or entire bodies.

    Cruising Disaster (

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  • Francesco Clemente

    Peter Blum Gallery

    Although color may suggest questions, it will not answer them—red remains red, pink pink, blue blue. Anything read into red, pink, or blue is there but also not there at all, the way a curio can mean everything to one person, structuring some emotional vagary as something solid and resolute, and be just another item ready for the trash heap to someone else. Yet when looking at the dazzling palette in this taut miniretrospective of Francesco Clemente’s paintings, how easy it is to state that here is someone using color to sort out the various manifestations (comic, horrific) of the self. Again

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  • Fantasy and Reality: Drawings from the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Collection

    Pierpont Morgan Library

    The hotel room looked so empty that I imagined all the drawings that were never there had been removed for an exhibition. I mean hospital room, Especially the drawing by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Rond-Point in the Park at Arcueil, ca. 1744–47, exquisitely boring: empty, the gray-green of storm clouds, it depicts neglected clefts of trees, an attenuated fountain, a low colonnaded structure in the distance, and a vague staircase leading, if anywhere, only to the recesses of what cannot be known. There are many different views of the abandoned park “executed by Oudry . . . , when he lived near the small

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  • Tony Smith

    Matthew Marks Gallery

    Although Tony Smith is no longer “one of the best known unknowns in American art,” as Sam Wagstaff was able to write 30 years ago, he still has not enjoyed a large-scale presentation of the totality of his work and thought. In lieu of such a retrospective, however, this group of drawings spanning three decades (roughly 1940 to 1970) reflects the diversity of Smith’s activities (architecture, painting, sculpture), as well as, thanks to the addition of several letters and postcards, his particular place in the artistic circles of his time, including his ties with Barnett Newman. Born in 1912,

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  • André Masson

    Zabriskie Gallery

    If there ever was a true embodiment of André Breton’s conception of Surrealism as a search for “convulsive beauty,” it is the work—gouaches, small oils, and ink-on-paper pieces—that André Masson produced while living in America, where he sought refuge during World War II. In these first-rate pieces, Masson is more intense and inventive than ever. Here the experimentation in the late ’20s and ’30s has developed into a full-fledged style, if one that is far from static. While Masson certainly estheticized the unexpected, making it seem like a thing in itself, to say that he idealized chance is to

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  • Liisa Roberts

    Janice Guy

    Gracefully deferring our desire for instant esthetic gratification, Liisa Roberts’ installation, betraying a portrait, 1995, was designed to do seemingly anything but happen all at once. Roberts’ artistic statement emerged slowly over the course of an entire afternoon. Arriving at the gallery at a particular time guaranteed a glimpse of only a fragment of the whole “work”—undoubtedly the experience of most visitors. Though the “work” was always present, it was also in a state of partial withdrawal, unwilling to emerge from a condition of virtual opacity until a particular hour of the day triggered

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  • Red Grooms

    Marlborough | Midtown

    “New York Stories” is Red Grooms’ latest attempt to present a slice of Big Apple life. Nearly twenty years after his “Ruckus Manhattan” exhibition, Grooms is still primarily interested in portraying this city’s quotidian “ruckus”—his word for the chaos defining late-20th-century urban civilization—with a healthy dose of comedy. The artist’s trademark sculptopictoramas," mixed-media assemblages combining two-dimensional and freestanding elements, are especially suited to the task of characterizing the excitement and claustrophobia unique to New York. By mixing the dizzying pictorial recessions

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  • “Shooting the Moon”

    Julie Saul Gallery

    Next to the high-tech resolution of digital imaging, photographs of the moon, even those from only 30 years ago, look like products of a bygone era. Testaments to the earliest stages of imaging technology, the photographs gathered in “Shooting the Moon: A Historical Survey of Lunar Photographs” remind us that art and science (and not just art and technology) are often intimately connected. Ever since the first photograph of the moon was taken in New York in 1840 by J. W. Draper (a few years after the invention of modern photography)—or, perhaps, ever since Galileo, looking through a telescope

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  • Robin Tewes

    Bill Maynes Gallery

    Depicting suburban interiors that could easily have come straight out of the pages of 1950s McCalls or Good Housekeeping, but didn’t, Robin Tewes’ paintings evoke the oppressive chambers of childhood. In the works for this, her second solo show, she faithfully reproduces the accoutrements and palette of high suburbia: turquoise sofas, salmon-pink blankets, manila bedrooms with twin beds, olive-green playrooms. Certainly the artist’s style epitomizes the sense of order once demanded of the ’50s housewife—her surfaces are flat and impersonal, with all signs of brushwork suppressed. Indeed, Tewes’

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  • “City Speculations”

    Queens Museum

    Of the two great panoramic views of ’60s New York, only one survives intact: the opening credits to the television series That Girl. The other, which goes by the name of the Panorama of the City of New York, was updated for the reopening of the Queens Museum in November 1994. Originally, this 10,000-square-foot model, still the world’s largest, was commissioned by Robert Moses for the 1964–65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park and became the fair’s central attraction, with its miniaturized five boroughs (one inch equals 100 feet) rendered within a contractually guaranteed one percent margin

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