art is not all of life. Rauschenberg says himself that he « got familier with painting all at once » and was led to galleries in a typical American way through calendar and playing card reproductions. His work is about things, not about a state of mind. In his assemblages he takes us a step beyond the transformation heightened awareness that occurs when an object is singled oui, to a point where it becomes itself again. James Rosenquist came to the profession of art more or less by accident, since his native middle west is not only indifferent but often antagonistic to art. Early in the sixties Rosenquist explained his defection from Abstract-Expressionism. This mode started in the heart combined with the head to go on to the canvas through the arm and hand, whereas Rosenquist daims that his art begins solely in his arm. Talking of his work the « Growth Plan » he explains that the viewer must make an effort towards it, since « appreciation does not lie in the picture being a beautiful design or something known as art. Virtual design is really an old order in this picture, it allows other thoughts to blossom ». His painting has overwhelming scale and vitality, pushing all else out of the viewer’s mind, making him confuse the work with life itself. Dore ASHTON. YOUNGER REPUTATIONS IN AMERICAN SCULPTURE p. 158 The exhibition « Primary Structures » held lest season made it obvious that the majority of sculptors had shifted to problems descending from the constructivist tradition, and were intent on simplifying and rejecting the more romantic modes of the 50s. This new purist sculpture rejects elaborate composition and as explains Judd must be taken as a whole. His own sculpture bears out his statement with steel boxes fixed to the wall separated by calculated space. The coolness of logic inherent in the work of Judd, Smithson, Morris and Lewitt shows a decided preoccupation with purely esthetic problems. They are extremely conscious of weight, measure and numerical intervals and by repeating shapes of identical proportions, endeavour to show that absolute symmetry has a beauty of ils own. Kenneth Snelson has clearly defined his understanding of primary structure « all methods of attachment—screws, nails…, are a poetic analogue of the one universel principle by which separate bodies are held together and orbit in a force field ». For Snelson, primary structure is a statement of the conflict between tension and compression. He composes sharply contrasting forms and develops asymmetrical accents by means of occasional painted surfaces. His imagery is rich as is that of Robert Murray, one of the most vigorous steel sculptors, using simple shapes, but in no way dependent on a purist polemic. Instead of assembling disparate pieces, he plans the interrelation of each element at the drawing board. Rejecting the open-ended notion of sculpture, he defines each piece as a single unit with visible boundaries. Much of the beauty of his achievement may be attributed to his ingenious methods of joining steel with craftsmanship. In some ways Ronald Bladen relates more to romantic than to purist conception of sculpture. He began in the early’60s with assemblages of geometric forms but in his effort to suspend odd-balanced elements, he introduced lively fantasy. One of his compositions shown at the « Primary Structures » exhibition consists of three identical towering elements leaning to the winds. Their polished aluminium and black surfaces offer a monumental qualification of space. Fortunately there are no exclusive tendencies in young America sculpture and there are many non-conformist artists drawing on traditions of differing origins—the surrealist intonation is sensed in young sculptors in California like Robert Hudson who welds steel compositions. His fantasy dictates surface games which include highly-coloured painted illusions in quasi-perspective or drawings and maps. Even more strange are the works of Jeremy Anderson. His imagination is unpredictable, totally unhampered by tradition, but he has constructed strange coloured sculptures that have their imagery source deep in his psyche. John Anderson is a New York artist using skillful joinery methods, whose pieces range from large members, leaning against each other in mad profusion to hanging wall pieces held with rope. Arlo Acton from San Francisco puts wood and metal together in vaguely erotic motifs, and his assemblages are always marked by his grasp of monumental scale and his ability to focus on major forms. Since the Second World War, permissions inhererd in modern art have been especially important in sculpture. It became possible for a lyrical, poetic artist like Varujan Boghosian to prevent frankly literary sculptures. Boghosian has never concealed his fervent interest in poetry, pastness and myth, and works with superb craftsmanship. Extensions of wood techniques are illustrated by Alvin Light who has developed a sophisticated abstract language using glue and pegs, while new materials are experimented by such artists as David Weinrib with suspended forms. Weinrib is interested in weightlessness to achieve a more aerial look as opposed to normal gravity—oriented perspective. His pieces made of translucent or opaque plastic are hung from ceilings. There is no attempt to rythme colour or form, but a will towards coherent articulation. Although emphasis shifts and at the moment structurism is of consuming Interest to the young sculptors, it can hardly be said that there is any dominating mode in the U.S. However the definition of sculpture has been stretched to the point of no return to become anything which is a presence in space. Traditional ways of thinking sculpture simply do not apply. Colette ROBERTS. FROM EXPRESSIONISM TO COOL ART -THE SEARCH FOR SILENCE p. 161 The author endeavours to make a rapid survey of American painting to find out what quality of silence it offers. It is well-known that the monumental paintings of Abstract Expressionism were indirectly responsible for environment sculpture, and that the University of Rutge-s where Pop art was taught was a nursery where the « happening », now called « event », was born. If these happenings were occasionally noisy it was to contras, with the silence of the acts, metaphysical anguish mixed with a teste of mystification. Albers teaching at Black Mountain did not only give life to visuel research but to the necessity of an order and an interior architecture to the canvas. If Pop art was born of « happening » the new abstraction appeared to be an opposition to the investigation of the object which is New Realism. But soon the object becomes a subject of abstraction. Not immediately however. Rouschenberg’s large panels illustrate this lapse, Dine attempts to blend painting and sculpture. Wesselmann included homage to past masters in his paintings. His latest exhibition took the spectator inside his refrigerator, his grand American nude has ceased to loll under the gaze of a Mona Lisa. For Mona Lisa there is a renaissance—Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Warhol success-fully repeats his in 4 dimensions. Lichtenstein latest subject the « Brushstroke » is a portrait of a gait, but is it the abstraction of an object, the concretisation of a concept or a gesture? Kanowitz has left the introspection of expressionism to throw himself body and soul into portrait-illustrations, where satire is so journalistic-like that the spectator is reminded of the America realist excesses before 1940, graphic realism where the sense of light is lacking. If in abstract monumental painting we find a common denominator as far as coloured surfaces are concerned, we also find those who have drawn profit from the experience of Abstract Expressionism (Knox Martin, Bishop, Al Held and sculptors Bladen, Sugarmann and Weinrib). If silence is a painting which hides itself, the work of Paul Brach passes through the modulation which call on our eye the sympathetic which Ad Reinhardt’s artistry calls up in us, research for silence particularly mysterious by Myriam Shapiro the only member of the hardedge group to use the object. After the exhibition at the Jewish Museum in 1963, the era of subdivisions was confirmed, called « concrete expressionism », « cool ». The romantic trend like to consider Pollock and de Kooning as their forerunners, and the « cool » mode daim Rothko and Barnett Newman. However Alloway in his preface to the « Art Systemic » on Ad Reinhardt states that the artist talks of pushing the visible to the limits of the invisible, and « a system is as human as spluttering of peint and much more if this rupture becomes routine » which dces not prevent certain of his « systemics » such as Kelly, Smith’ and Poons having their roots in the art of geometrical abstraction at ils beginning. « It is difficult to isolate modulated New York painting from the international world of abstraction. » What first strikes the spectator at the « Art Systemic » is how the entire exhibition creates ils own magic and its form of environment, but when the observer tries to penetrate the world of these paintings, they remain objects, even Yougerman, Poons and Stella. The latter maintains communication with his canvas and his possibilities of renewal are vast. Noland understands stresses and knows how to harmonize them in readable forms. His form of heraldy was appreciated at his first hanging. Freeley’s four shields have the talented refinement expected of him, as for Krushenick, with a striking image, he breaks the silence with his robust character. Ad Reinhardt is the link between two worlds, post 1940 and post 1960. Young and experienced look to him. With impeccable rhetoric he showed what painting was not, what it could not, should not be. However there also young painters seeking silence, particularly inspired by a para-surrealism. George Deem offers a very Stuart-like « Washington » and his reproductions of the « Calèche » are accompanied by a calligraphy which copies writing so closely that the observer is surprised to see letters which do not make up a single word. The same surprise is felt in the dream texts of Robert Reid and the Time Game where the symbols are essentially plastic. John Day with news-paper cuttings guides us through the myths of the antichamber of hell, nothing frightening but a kind of meeting with personalities of bygone deys. These paintings are not romantic since their pictorial treatment adds trompe l’oeil to geometry. Raffaele has given up photo collage and presents pieces separated on a white background, making the void a pictorial element. Suzi Gablik uses surrealist photography disguising the borderline between it and painting. Exotism, history, the absurd are blended to become a rhythmed proliferation. Expert in miniatures Ray Johnson constructs images like a bee its hive—each element is a painting in itself, carried out with infinite delicacy. As for the trompe l’oeil of Marvin Israel, he works as if drawing on snow, thus creating graphism with relief. Alter commentaries on Alice Baber and her evolution from tachism, Jenkins and his increasing dynamism, Hulkberg and his nights of red delirium, the author explains that she has referreci to young and less young together because they all seek for silence. She also reviews a well-known trio Jennett Lam, who transforma figuration of simple objects into geometrical abstraction, Mikl a Japanese sculptor and Peter Dechar who features gigantic pears on his canvas. The unique subject allows for infinite variations in the order of abstraction and that of meditation. Even if history does not repeat itself, parallels can be drawn up . It seems that new realism is near to a form of surrealism just as « cool » art is close to new plasticism, one and other coinciding as if they should complete the message of the other, as if the unloved should keep together. The miracle in America is that the unloved were quickly accepted, but perhaps not loved. American painting cutters from the difference there is between the warmth of the mind and the heart. But perhaps a certain balance may be possible to which Reinhardt’s « black » may contrebute. Reinhardt knows that painting is only possible in an age where arts born of photography are capable of reflecting the world of appearances in all ils aspects, by a form of symbolism which pushes the visible to the invisible, the sign to the non-sign. He is the key to « minimal » painting, since he has Broken away from the lyric romanticism of the New York school, but he has not adopted mechanical execution of a surface which he wishes to control while communicating with it through his b der ut :pris ro ekbe T t.. The youngyoseu nbsgu aml ietyy boef ,R‘ ceai nmhbar,d t’s or „bclbabclk„, hwabs ue when r R emi npbhaerde over she si s, he pledges himself to the cold. Lawrence ALLOWAY. SYSTEMIC PAINTING p. 175 The painting which made American art famous between 1947 and 1954 first appeared as a drama of creation. The artist’s capacity for improvisation increased and the materiality of the medium was accentuated. The record process of the creative act dominated all the others and was denounced by Harold Rosenberg as action painting. The other term « abstract expressionism defines a work of art as a seismic recording of the artist’s anxiety. Later Arnason proposed the term of « abstract imagists » for these artists who were not expressionists. The schism became evident among the young generation who turned from the gestuel art or who never adopted it. Rauschenberg produced canvases with identical spiashes of peint; a gestuel sign was transformed into a repeatable object. This change in situation was underlined six years ago by William Rubin who proclaimed the failure of de Kooning. From then on the evolution was—artists of the old trend, then development of the « tâche », symmetical forms, clear colours and hard-edge. The paintings of Barnett Newman have two sorts of audience—the first admirers of exhibitions in New York in 1950 and the wider audience at the end of the ’50s, when sensuality was eliminated from gestuel painting. His art was eagerly awaited since the alternatives other than expressionist abstraction were few such as Smith, Kelly, Reinhardt. These three artists showed an unexpected reconciliation of geometrical art and recent American painting. This is the hard-edge phase, an invention of the critic Jules Langsner who suggested this tille for an exhibition of four non-figurative painters. It came to mean the new development which combined the economy of form and the clearness of surface with the fullness of colour without calling up the memories of bygone geometrical art. The whole of the painting becomes a unity, the forms extend the dimension of painting or are reduced to two or three tones. The result of this economy of means is that the spatial effect of figures on a background become nil. A series of exhibits in museums revealed signs which favoured public recognition of the change in sensibility. The first exhibition was Towards a new Abstraction followed by Post painterly Abstraction and at the end of 1964 the Hudson River Museum sponsored a significant showing of eight artists « none of them uses illusion realism or anything to be called symbolism » says E.C. Goossen. In 1965 the Washington Gallery of Modern Art presented a group including Noland, Downing and Mehring. The exhibition catalogues of the ’60s show that the interest of the critics and the public had left aside abstract expressionism and that the main sphere of abstract art on which attention was concentrated could be identified with the aesthetic levai of Clement Greenberg. After Greenbrg the hard-edge artists won their hardness over the softness of Painterly Abstraction. It is surely Crue that a steady proportion of the reaction against abstract expressionnism is the combination of this. Isolating the modulation maintings in New York from international abstract art is difficult, what seems pertinent now is to define the systems in art, freed of classicism and absolutes which were formerly associated with ideas of order. The setting up of an order is part of the legacy of the 1903-1915 generation. However in New York they have little confidence in the mysteries of Plato and Pythagorus. A system is as human as a splash of saint ev n more so if the splash becomes a routine. (Translation by Mar FIND ART DOC