Page 1

BeatRice Mandelman octobeR 15 – novembeR 13, 2010 Selected works from the 1960s


ISBN 978-0-9827872-3-6 Price $20.00

1960 s to the mid 1970 s: Cover detaiL,

the poetics and problematics of white

from left to right:

Excerpt from Beatrice Mandelman: Taos Modernist, University of New Mexico Press, 1995. Birds (Green and Black #1402), c. 1960s, Collage with gouache and pencil on canvas, 23 1/2" x 16"

Robert Hobbs, The Rhoda Thalhimer Endowed Chair of American Art, VCU and Visiting Professor, Yale University. © The Mandelman-Ribak Foundation. about the period. It's not a soft feminine

Circles (Formerly No. 12)

In this decade Bea Mandelman oscillated

(60-p04), c. 1960s, Casein on

between art as social critique and as a sanc-

period. The fiestas are over. The celebrants

tuary from current difficulties. At the begin-

have gone home. It is time to face reality.

masonite, 48" x 24"

ning and the end of the decade she was Published on the occasion of

making collages that related to the specific

Obviously, she was reacting against her

October 15 - November 13, 2010,

problems of first race relations and then the

own works of c. 1959—1960 and was creat-

curated by Gary Snyder.

war in Vietnam. In these works Mandelman's

ing pieces that she believed to be in sync

old social realist attitudes reemerged.

with the changing temper of the times. But

"Collage best represents my concern for the

in 1967 Mandelman is quoted as saying "that

stresses and the shifting, transitory nature of

the 'calm' of the geometric forms is her reac-

human experience," the artist has reflected.

tion against the hostile and disturbing cur-

"Art can be a powerful mirror of the quali-

rents that she finds in the world.” Her vacil-

ties of life." In the early sixties she also made

lation between these two attitudes may be

a few assemblages of found objects that

explained in part by a desire to leave mean-

may have been inspired by the Museum of

ing open-ended and to trust the unconscious

Modern Art exhibition entitled The Art of

to be her guide [...]. In 1977, she explained,

Assemblage. She considers her assemblages

"My art is planted in reality....by allowing my

as social statements, and even made the fol-

inner being to be free.” The idea that art is a

lowing observations about them: "Without

form of unconscious or intuitive communica-

the exhibition, "1960s Revisited,"

© 2010 David Richard Contemporary

the social statement there is not art. If there's

tion is a legacy that Bea inherited from the

any truth, it's in the artist's reaction to man's

Abstract Expressionists. Like them she has

reaction to the social situation at any par-

had problems knowing when a work is fin-

ticular moment."

ished. [...] Mandelman has stated, "The painting tells me when it’s got it. Most of my work

In the intervening years between her two

is unfinished."

series of collages, Mandelman created sev-

GalleRy DirectoRs

eral series of constructivist works that she

Although Mandelman's collages are intended

herself has regarded as either social com-

to be challenging political works of art as

ment or an escape into the radiance of beau-

Why Choose Murder, Civil Rights and Vietnam

tiful and satisfying forms. For example, in an

attest, these pieces also participate in the

undated typescript, Mandelman wrote:

artist's proclaimed goal to articulate nega-

David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

tive space. Knowing that she was employing The work IS hard-edged because the world is

abstract forms that could easily become mere

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284

hard-edged now. The artist answers the time,

decoration, Bea avoided obvious designs.

www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com

projects, and makes an emotional statement

"I don't want to impose patterns," the artist


DETAIl: Birds (Green and Black #1402), c. 1960s, Collage with gouache and pencil on canvas, 23 1/2" x 16"

While a preference for white develops natu-

which both the artist and the audience are

rally from Mandelman's work of the late

left holding the bag. As Mandelman herself

1950s, her use of it in the 1960s is consistent

recognized, forms can assume contradic-

with the new emphasis on areas of unprimed

tory meanings in abstract art. [...] "I have a

and unpainted canvas in the Color Field

constant dialogue between opposites.”

painting of Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland and in the reductive aes-

Poised on ambiguity, Mandelman's works

thetic that became known as Minimalism.

at times rest on watersheds of difference. Meanings trail in different directions, bifurcat-

In many of Bea Mandelman's works the power

ing content into polar opposites, making one

of white in conjunction with a limited palette

a mockery of the other, or at the very least an

is integral to the completed piece. Beginning

inverse mirror. Too often we expect Modernist

in the 1960s she often reduces her palette to

art to resolve contradictions and offer solu-

primary colors used in conjunction with black

tions that can be described in a discursive

and white. Recalling the discipline of many

fashion. But what these works of art do best

painters who were members of the American

is to keep the contradictions in suspension

Abstract Artists association established in

and allow viewers the opportunity to view

New York City in 1936 who held Mondrian's art

them aesthetically. Meaning in Modernist art

in high regard, Mandelman's rigor implies an

is not subject to straightforward ratiocination

interest in retrieving and expanding aspects

as in philosophy, but is a poetic construction

of this vanguard current that she had ignored

of possibilities that can easily devolve into

two decades earlier. The limitations of color

seeming contradictions of slipping signifiers.

were also a way to analogize her affinities

Not just propaganda, this art manifests or

with ancient, tribal, and folk art while remain-

symbolizes a range of feelings and is not sim-

ing modern. In addition, these brilliant colors

ply a vehicle of persuasion.

reflect major changes in tribal and folk art, later noted in her informal journal. "I want my

qualities of presence and absence elicited by

which has been intensified in the twentieth

Art may be most effective as a political tool

painting to have not pattern but order and

a blank canvas have intrigued Mandelman for

century through the use of aniline dyes and

when it allows us to come to terms with the

structure underneath—not on top—not what

several decades, beginning with her paintings

commercial paints. [...]

ideological construction of reality. Since ideol-

you see—hidden, covered—but felt." She has

and collages of the early 1960s. The artist

related that the two artists, in her opinion,

has noted, "I try to paint silence that speaks."

To the question "Why does the artist choose

tions according to the needs and attitudes of

who most clearly understand the power and

At another time she asked herself the rhe-

to imply meanings through abstraction rather

specific groups and since artists may be mar-

subtlety of negative space are José de Ribera

torical question, "Are my paintings poems

than depict them directly?" Mandelman has

ginal to their public, ample opportunities exist

and Henri Matisse.

with absent words?" Similar to Matisse,

responded enigmatically, "White memories

for both subtle and blatant contradictions

Mandelman recognized that the power of the

...The painting should be more like a dream,

between the ideologies of artists and their

Working with negative space required con-

blank canvas needed to be respected and if

disquieting and concealing....I don't preach at

public. In Mandelman's art this rift is mani-

trapuntal thinking. The background with

possible enhanced through the creative act.

the observer."

fested formally in terms of her use of white to

which an artist begins in this kind of art is nei-

Matisse stated early in his career, "If upon a

ther neutral nor a void. Rather it is an already

white canvas I jot down some sensations of

But since Modernism has often been con-

ing presence/absence and space/wall. The

established presence that must be considered

blue, of green, of red—every new brush stroke

ceived as an unforgiving style, the radical

polarities are indicative of unresolved ten-

in relation to the colors and lines, which punc-

diminishes the importance of the preceding

amputation of form from narrative mean-

sions in modern society—tensions which are

ture, divide, and transform it into an entirely

ones." [...]

ings often causes the act of interpretation

exacerbated in Mandelman's work because of

to assume the features of a snipe hunt in

her desire to belong to the fashionable realm

different kind of surface. The contradictory

ogies are special ways of masking contradic-

bridge a number of binary oppositions includ-

3


DETAIl: Morning (70-SUN05), c. 1960s Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 40"

4

of the international vanguard in which the

from Arroyo Hondo. White can be a symbol

major formalist critic of the 1950s and early

of the primordial, which is reenacted in art by

1960s Clement Greenberg was champion-

the awesome and immutable canvas or sheet

ing Color Field painting for its way of forg-

of paper facing an artist before her first mark

ing an inextricable bond between painting

is made. [...] Mandelman equates white with

and support (such as canvas or linen) and for

the mystery of the unknown, which might be

permitting this support an eloquent role in

the yet uncreated force of the universe or its

the completed work. At the same time that

ultimate end.

she wished to keep abreast of changes in the art world, Mandelman wanted to remain true

After initiating the discourse on the poetics

to her early liberal upbringing and need to

and problematics of white in her works of

regard humanity as an extended family. These

the early 1960s, Mandelman began in 1964 to

contradictions in her art function as artistic

investigate the formal problem of replacing a

koans—contradictions that allow viewers to

clearly articulated background with oscillating

come to terms with the contradictory nature

planes of color. She undertakes this problem

of reality.

in such works as Blue Moon, which appears on first inspection to be colored forms placed

Although it is impossible to assign a spe-

against a white background, but on pro-

cific iconographic meaning to the drips in

longed examination reveals subtle overlap-

Mandelman's paintings or to the color white

ping shapes that shift between foreground

in her art, one can defend their high import

and background. [...] Given Mandelman's

by pointing to the fact that the Modernist

interest in both form and political content,

style is an elevated discourse even if a mys-

one might hazard an idealist interpretation to

Occasionally during this period, Mandelman

collages. An excellent example is Vietnam, a

terious and at times confounding one. While

the effect that the lack of a definite ground

undertakes a critique of other artists' work.

descendent of the elegant abstracted post-

Modernists originally intended to distill a host

affirms a new sense of doubt pervading the

An example of this vying with tradition is

ers undertaken by several Russian artists who

of associations into an essence that could

country in the 1960s when old values and

her Black Cross, which reconstitutes George

had exceedingly high expectations for the

be understood in the then supposed univer-

attitudes were beginning to be seriously

O'Keeffe's paintings of crosses by placing

intellectual curiosity and openness to change

sal languages of color and form and found

questioned. But the formal characteristics of

one in a rigorously geometric format. While

of an unimpeded proletariat. Unlike Russian

instead that their works were open to a host

these works do not necessarily convey such

Mandelman's painting might appear to reject

Constructivists who thought their work

of interpretations, the serious and committed

a political content. More to the point is the

the religious overtones of O'Keeffe's art, it in

would be as suitable for posters as for paint-

tone of this style indicates its significance,

manner in which Mandelman's work partici-

fact serves as a Rosetta stone for her inter-

ing, Mandelman's work does not become an

even if that import cannot be channeled into

pates in the ideology of progress that in the

ests in New Mexican religious art, the auster-

effective forum for political persuasion. [...]

one unequivocal meaning. […]

1960s affected even the arts, an ideology that

ity of the landscape, and the intensity of the

assumed the glamour, the element of sur-

light in the Southwest. More than most of her

Rather than turning art into propaganda,

In Mandelman's work the poetics of white

prise, and the planned obsolescence of high

abstract paintings, this work underscores the

Mandelman transforms the raw material of

depend upon its plethora of references. White

fashion. [...] Even though they might take on

way that Mandelman has abstracted from

life into art. The result is a collage that is more

might be associated with clouds, light, snow,

the spirited quest for novelty and change of

nature rather than rejected it. Even in such

satisfactory as art than information because

purity, the canvas itself, the void, with begin-

fashion, Mandelman's works do not promote

a seemingly nonobjective piece as Birds, the

the reference to current events have become

nings and with endings—meaning death—

the values of industry: their assertively hand-

artist indicates a desire to perpetuate a dia-

highly aestheticized. Vietnam indicates a

with mysterious signs painted on rock walls

painted edges reinforce the artist's connec-

logue with nature.

major problem for political art, which can

centuries ago, with the background of many

tions with handmade objects.

become a means for dignifying conflicts and

Native American pots and Hispanic santos,

In addition to nature, memories of Russian Con-

and with the flesh color of the Christ figures

structivist utopianism pervade Mandelman's

aggrandizing war rather than undermining it.


6

Arrangement #2 (60-COL07),

Collage No. 9 (60-PR17),

c. 1960s, Collage with cut paper,

c. 1960s, Mixed media collage

pencil drawing, sand and gouache

on mat board, 15 7/8" x 19 5/8"

on mat board, 19 3/4" x 15 3/4"

7

Birds (Green and Black

Homage to Homer (60-PR12),

#1402), c. 1960s, Collage with

c. 1960s, Acrylic with mixed media

gouache and pencil on canvas,

collage on masonite, 48" x 35 1/2"

23 1/2" x 16"

Circles (Formerly No. 12)

Morning (70-SUN05), c. 1960s,

(60-p04), c. 1960s, Casein on

Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 40"

masonite, 48" x 24"


Space Series VI (60-SP 1-09),

Space Series #39, (60-SP 5-18),

c. 1960s, Collage on cardboard,

c. 1960s, Collage and acrylic on mat

24" x 17 7/8"

board, 19 5/8" x 15 5/8"

8

9

Space Series #20 (60-SP 1-01),

Space Series #62 (60-SP 3-27),

c. 1960s, Mixed media with collage

c. 1960s, Gouache on paper mounted

on matboard, 19 3/4" x 15 3/4"

on illustration board, 16" x 11 3/4"

Space Series #35 (60-SP 5-10),

Space Series #64 (60-SP 3-30),

c. 1960s, Collage and acrylic on mat

c. 1960s, Acrylic, collage on mat

board, 15 5/8" x 19 5/8"

board, 13 1/2" x 13"


Space Series #79 (60-SP 5-15),

Untitled (60-P44), c. 1960s,

c. 1960s, Collage and acrylic on mat

Acrylic on canvas, 47 1/4" x 31 1/2"

board, 19 5/8" x 19 5/8" 10

11

Space Series #84 (60-SP 1-16),

Untitled (60-COL 3-05),

c. 1960s, Acrylic on cardboard,

c. 1960s, Acrylic and collage on

19 7/8" x 15 7/8"

canvas paper, 11 7/8" x 15 7/8"

Space Series #99 (60-SP 1-05),

Untitled (60-COL 3-08), c. 1960s,

c. 1960s, Mixed media with sand and

Acrylic and collage on canvas paper,

collage on mat board, 19 3/4" x 15 3/4"

19 7/8" x 16"


Untitled (60-SP 1-12),

Untitled (60-SP 4-36),

c. 1960s, Collage on cardboard,

c. 1960s, Collage and acrylic

19 7/8" x 15 7/8"

on paper, 9 1/2" x 11 3/4"

12

13

Untitled (60-SP 1-13),

Untitled (60-G 2-15), c. 1960s,

c. 1960s, Collage on cardboard,

Gouache on paper, 27 1/2" x 39 1/2"

15 7/8" x 19 7/8"

Untitled (60-SP 1-18),

Untitled (60-COL 3-04),

c. 1960s, Collage on mat board,

c. 1960s, Ink and collage on canvas

19 7/8" x 15 7/8"

paper, 19 7/8" x 16"


Untitled (Eye to Eye) (60-COL 1-01), c. 1960s, Mixed media with collage on paper, 14

12 1/2" x 17"

beatRice Mandelman octobeR 15 – novembeR 13, 2010 Selected works from the 1960s

Untitled (Freaks) (60-COL 1-05), c. 1960s, Mixed media collage on paper, 19 7/16" x 12 3/16"

White No. 1 (60-PR15), c. 1960s, Acrylic with mixed media collage on paper, 11" x 9"

GalleRy DirectoRs David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com


Albert Stadler Untitled (#111), c. 1962, Acrylic on canvas, 42 3/8" x 32 3/8"

Leon Berkowitz

16

1

Ilya Bolotowsky Hilton Brown Lawrence Calcagno Roy Colmer Howard Daum Gene Davis Thomas Downing Mario Garcia John Goodyear Cleve Gray Albert Stadler Untitled (#121), c. 1965, Acrylic on canvas, 62 1/2" x 63 1/4"

Hisao Hanafusa James Hilleary Paul Huxley Ward Jackson Raymond Jonson Matsumi Kanemitsu Minoru Kawabata Lyman Kipp Masatoyo Kishi James Kuo Beatrice Mandelman Howard Mehring Rakuko Naito

Sidney Wolfson Untitled (SWP10), 1969, Oil on canvas, Signed verso “SW 68-69”, 57 1/4" x 43 1/2"

Sumiye Eugenia Okoshi Betty Parsons Leon Polk-Smith Paul Reed

Provenance: The Artist Private Collection, Florida

Ralph Rosenborg Vivian Springford Albert Stadler Sidney Wolfson

GalleRy DirectoRs David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com


A Summer Day, 1969, Oil

on canvas, Signed verso, 50" x 40"

American Landscape:

Untitled (ParUnt22), 1961, Oil

Ralph Rosenborg

Betty Parsons

on canvas, S.D. L. L., 32" x 42"

14

Oil on canvas, 51" x 62"

on canvas, Signed, dated and titled

Basin Street (VS25), 1963,

Constellation K, 1969, Acyrlic

Vivian Springford

Leon Polk-Smith

15

on verso, 47 1/2" x 23 1/2"

1978, Acrylic on canvas, Signed,

74 1/8" x 57"

expansionist series (VSF596),

#25C, 1964, Acrylic on canvas,

Vivian Springford

Paul Reed

dated and titled on verso, 60" x 54" Provenance: East Hampton Gallery, New York Ramon Osuna, Washington, DC Exhibited: 1965, Paul Reed, East Hampton Gallery Literature: Judd, Donald. "In the Galleries," Arts Magazine 39, no. 4 (January 1965), p. 65. Judd, Donald. Complete Writings: 1959-1975. New York University Press, New York, p. 160.


on canvas, 76 1/2" x 77 1/2"

Oil on canvas, 51" x 76"

Untitled, c. 1963, Magna

Untitled, 1959 – 1963,

Howard Mehring

Masatoyo Kishi

12

13

dated on verso, 68" x 68"

60" x 30"

1964, Oil on canvas, Signed and

on canvas, Signed lower left,

Untitled (Black and White),

Growth #1, 1969, Acrylic

Rakuko Naito

James Kuo

Provenance: Gary Snyder Fine Art, NY Exhibited: Eastern Essence: Abstraction by Asian American Artists, 19501970, Gary Snyder Fine Art, NY, March 16 - May 4, 2002.

Signed on verso “E. Okoshi”, 45" x 35"

48" x 24"

Signed lower right “Eugenia Okoshi”,

masonite, Signed lower right,

Untitled, c. 1968, Oil on canvas,

Circles, c. 1960s, Casein on

Sumiye Eugenia Okoshi

Beatrice Mandelman


13 1/2" x 10 3/4"

84" x 84"

Untitled, 1961, Ink on paper,

Untitled, 1968, Acrylic on canvas,

Matsumi Kanemitsu

Paul Huxley

10

Provenance:

11

Gary Snyder Fine Art, NY Exhibited: Eastern Essence: Abstraction by Asian American Artists, 19501970, Gary Snyder Fine Art, NY, March 16 - May 4, 2002.

canvas, Signed lower left, 64" x 44"

1964, Oil on canvas, Signed, dated

Yellow Slow, 1965, Acrylic on

Reversal, Interchange VII,

Minoru Kawabata

Ward Jackson

and titled on verso, 34" x 34" Provenance: Provenance:

Betty Parsons Gallery, NY

Estate of the Artist Exhibited: New American Abstraction 19601975, Gary Snyder Project Space, November 8 - December 20 2008.

Yellow), 1967, Painted wood,

Signed verso, 39 3/4" x 29 3/4"

Untitled (Green &

Polymer #9, 1965, Polymer on panel,

Lyman Kipp

Raymond Jonson

4 3/4" x 10" x 4 3/4"


Signed, dated, and titled on verso,

Acrylic on canvas, 56" x 45"

Perne #22, 1978, Acrylic on canvas,

Untitled, c. 1970s,

Cleve Gray

Thomas Downing

56" x 64"

8

48" x 60"

Oil on canvas, 59 1/2" x 59"

Yellow I, 1966, Canvas and tubing,

Barn Series, c. 1960,

Hisao Hanafusa

Mario Garcia

9

Exhibited: The Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey. Mario Garcia: Red Barn Series, September 18 – December 13, 1987.

dated, and titled on verso, 64" x 64"

Mounted strips of acrylic, 24" x 24"

#113, 1969, Acrylic on canvas, Signed,

Monet's Garden, c. 1966,

James Hilleary

John Goodyear

Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist


6

Oil on canvas, 40" x 42"

oil on canvas, 82" x 120" (overall)

Composition #194, c. 1960,

Sunbands V, 1969, Acrylic and

Howard Daum

Lawrence Calcagno

7

Provenance: Brooklyn Museum of Art

Acrylic on canvas, 90" x 87 1/2"

Signed, dated and numbered

Red, Blue, and Gold, 1960,

#43, 1973, Acrylic on canvas,

Thomas Downing

Roy Colmer

4" x 120"

75" x 50"

#156, 1971, Acrylic on canvas,

#41, c. 1969, Acrylic on canvas,

Gene Davis

Roy Colmer

on verso, 75 1/2" x 60" Literature: Houston, Joe. 2007, Optic Nerve, Perceptual Art of the 1960s. Merrell Publishers Limited, New York. p. 68.


4

1960s what it was.

vibrant black and white composition falls

American art. After all, they, too, made the

ism of Japanese Gutai, while Rakuko Naito's

own merits already belong in the annals of

field painting and the theatrical gestural-

worth a look on their own merits, and on their

Kishi’s work bespeaks both American color

full paragraphs in future histories. But all are

in 1965. Sumiye Okoshi’s and Masatoyo

few of these figures, in fact, are destined for

work even once he’d moved to Los Angeles

artistic, and all the more human, for that. A

fully abandoning the gesturality of his earlier

dictions and disjunctures, but is all the more

hard edge and color field painting, never

discourse, to be sure, that bristles with contra-

sionist scene—evolved a style that bestrode

together, comprise a rich, varied discourse—a

had fully integrated into the abstract expres-

supporting characters who, separately and

over earlier than most of his countrymen and

even bit players in a pageant of highlights, but

Matsumi (“Mike”) Kanemitsu—who had come

history of their time. They are not extras, nor

painting with an almost gestural lyricism.

ones collected here lend fullness to the art

while Minoru Kawabata practiced hard edge

unfashionable practices, artists such as the

ity that was neither minimalist nor gestural,

fiercely independent minds and poignantly

ticed abstract expressionism with an auster-

their idiosyncrasies and anachronisms, their

home. Taro Yamamoto, for instance, prac-

mere winners than it is of mere objects, and in

tive ways, bringing notable accents from

But art history, finally, is no more a history of

dencies but re-interpreted them in distinc-

had to in the public opinion of their own time.

in New York at this time reflected local ten-

in our collective memory the same way they

of Zen)—the Japanese artists who worked

ists in the 1960s must unfairly swim upstream

corresponded (in, for example, the influence

artists who were not Pop artists or minimal-

ists—leanings and mindsets that strongly

displacement—and, likewise, those American

cal mindset(s) of New York’s late modern-

of attention—for more than just their exotic

native cultural leanings and the philosophi-

that poor Florentine miniaturist are all worthy

tion, gravitated to New York. Reflecting both

Schmalzigaug? But Schmalzigaug, Sironi, and

tion, already Americanized by the occupa-

Mario Sironi or the Belgian Futurist Jules

Afterwards, however, Japan’s new genera-

has not. Who now thinks of the Italian Cubist

Before the war, that would have been Paris.

nerism while one practicing that style in Sienna

pelled to go to the source of their inspiration.

overshadowed by Michelangelo’s early man-

of the overseas avant garde, they felt com-

late-15th century Florence has been entirely

experimental scene of their own. Enamored

practicing International-Style miniaturism in

tation, Japanese artists had developed an

specific times, so that, for instance, a painter

decade of their country’s defeat and devas-

locate specific tendencies in specific places at

aspects of the New York art scene. Within a

ously. Even so, the exigencies of art history

prised a profound presence in and among all

activity, art is likely to be practiced quite vari-

lands. The Japanese influx, in particular, com-

ors, as it were, and in great centers of artistic

had achieved artistic maturity in their native

Art always comes in all shapes and all col-

even taking American citizenship, once they

Leon Berkowitz Cathedral No. 13, 1968, Oil on canvas, 90" x 72" Exhibited:

5

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Recent Paintings by Leon Berkowitz, February 22 - March 23, 1969. Gary Snyder/Project Space, NY, Leon Berkowitz: Cathedral Paintings, March 6 - May 2, 2009.

Ilya Bolotowsky Untitled (column), 1963, Oil on wood, Signed and dated near bottom, 35 1/2" x 4 3/8" x 4 3/8" Provenance: B.C. Holand Gallery, Chicago, IL Osuna Lennon, GP, Washington, DC Exhibited: New American Abstraction 19601975, Gary Snyder Project Space, November 8 - December 20, 2008.

Hilton Brown Homage to the Immaculates, 1965, Acrylic on canvas, Signed and titled on verso, 50" x 60"

squarely under the Op art rubric and Hisao Hanafusa’s elegant object-painting evinces, but does not truly partake of, the first blush of minimalism.


DETAIL: Roy Colmer #43, 1973, Acrylic on canvas, Signed, dated and numbered on verso, 75 1/2" x 60"

of sculpture and vice versa.

put the Washington Color School on the

Kipp, the geometric style made painting out

influential art critic, Clement Greenberg, to

see in Bolotowsky’s work and that of Lyman

took the advocacy of the country’s most

strategies a step further. Interestingly, as we

work did appear there late in the 1950s. It

and Roy Colmer took their compositional

our nation’s capital, at least one such net-

3

map, but his support of Morris Louis and

color areas, the de-emphasis on texture, the

imalist form.

effects of color field painting—the saturated

luminous color and fluid or rigid proto-min-

Betty Parsons engaged the techniques and

pike with their balanced negotiations of

Stadler, and the redoubtable artist-gallerist

were also able to attract attention up the

individuals such as Vivien Springford, Albert

Berkowitz, Hilton Brown, and James Hilleary

circle around him, more independent-minded

and other Washington painters such as Leon

maintained tight control over the color-field

Modern Art that made waves in New York;

to the “new going thing(s).” While Greenberg

vey mounted at the Washington Gallery of

original styles with various levels of response

Paul Reed, and Howard Mehring in a sur-

obstinate, and mutable by turns, refining their

together with Gene Davis, Thomas Downing,

eclipse, but its practitioners proved durable,

In 1965 Greenberg brought Louis and Noland

a hallmark of abstract expressionism, was in

to the broader recognition of that “school.”

The gestural approach to abstract painting,

Kenneth Noland in particular proved crucial

mutable contours—in more painterly man-

abstract expressionist experimentation—in

awareness of the emerging “hard-edge” ten-

or even microscopic life. The echoes of pre-

ric shapes and compositions betrayed their

implying the presence of figure, landscape,

expressionism. But their reliance on geomet-

ilarly near representation, their compositions

a—the—logical evolution out of abstract

(arguably) Beatrice Mandelman hovered sim-

Greenberg who saw such an approach as

Ralph Rosenborg, Lawrence Calcagno, and

and visual field endeared them to those like

ners. Other painters such as Mario Garcia,

The Washington painters’ emphasis on color

such as Leon Polk Smith, Ward Jackson,

ing positions at universities around the coun-

Jonson were now joined by younger talents

success and/or enduring obscurity.

committed to an academic framework, tak-

returned home after a few years of fleeting

locales and those less successful, or more

homies in the New York ferment, and often

Hamptons, Woodstock, and other ex-urban

ties with their hometowns, spoke up for their

years, the successful ones gravitating to the

those best and brightest maintained close

begun to move out of New York in previous

their best and their brightest to New York,

The abstract expressionists themselves had

Chicago, and New Orleans were likely to lose

to participate in the contemporary discourse.

fident; even though places like Los Angeles,

rather than actual residency, was what it took

beyond New York grew louder and more con-

one’s accomplishments in New York, but that,

of native art activity in other urban centers

tivated. It was certainly necessary to expose

as well as cultural inspiration. And the buzz

nation’s (and now the world’s) art capital cul-

tivate their ideas in atmospheres of natural

to maintain the sophisticated concerns the

generations of avant gardists seeking to cul-

It wasn’t even necessary to work in New York

despite and because of the unique nature of

England—were re-discovered by whole new

vital network of artists to emerge, but, both

Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, upper New

Washington may seem an unlikely place for a

try. Several outlying regions—northern New

dency (a tendency Greenberg tacitly supported), and in fact defined most of them as geometricists. Certain of them even became identified with “op art,” the highly hyped post-Pop phenomenon that zeroed in on perceptual dynamics within a geometric frame-

particular the “Indian Space Painting” that sought a fusion of geometric and organic form—lingered in the work of Howard Daum, while “orthodox” abstract expressionism endured in the work of such artists as the Chinese-born James Kuo.

work. By the mid-1960s such opticality had helped geometry reassert itself forcefully as a credible and available formal language. Older artists devoted to constructivism such as Ilya Bolotowsky and (in New Mexico) Raymond

Sidney Wolfson, and Paul Huxley in rendering clearly and precisely defined shapes on canvas, while op artists such as John Goodyear

The ranks of geometric artists, op artists, color field painters, gestural painters, and artists of all kinds in New York were broadened considerably by influxes of foreign artists who brought their own methods and experiences with them. Of course, many of these émigrés were coming over as students or recent graduates; but just as many settled in New York for extended periods,


2

ISBN 978-0-9827872-3-6 Price $20.00

the 1960 s: otheR TrajectoRies Cover detail, from top to bottom: Rakuko Naito Untitled (Black and White), 1964, Oil on canvas, 68" x 68" James Hilleary #113, 1969, Acrylic on canvas, 64" x 64" Thomas Downing Untitled, 1962, Acrylic on canvas, 84 1/2" x 86 1/2"

Leon Berkowitz

by Peter Frank

Ilya Bolotowsky

a decade of hard-edge and gestural abstrac-

Mario Garcia

decade of Pop Art and Minimalism was also

Thomas Downing

half of it. In American art, for instance, the

Gene Davis

supposedly characterized the 1970s. Well,

learning that we don’t really know the

Howard Daum

comprising that era’s art. Artistic “pluralism”

of rapid and continuous change, but we’re

Roy Colmer

vast range of expression and investigation

know these fabled years constitute a decade

Lawrence Calcagno

understood—actually, felt—by examining the

The ‘60s aren’t what they used to be. We

Hilton Brown

John Goodyear Cleve Gray

Roy Colmer #43, 1973, Acrylic on canvas, 75 1/2" x 60" Albert Stadler Untitled (#121), c. 1965, Acrylic on canvas, 62 1/2" x 63 1/4"

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, "1960s Revisited," October 15 - November 13, 2010, curated by Gary Snyder. © 2010 David Richard Contemporary

Hisao Hanafusa James Hilleary Paul Huxley Ward Jackson

the singular was already translating into the plural the decade before.

expressionism, the dominant mode of post-

pre-eminence also saw the emergence—and

vey implicitly examines the legacy of abstract

of many kinds. The decade of New York’s

By focusing on abstract approaches, this sur-

tion, painterly figuration, and eccentricities

expressionist practices drive the work of a

American males hosted a plethora of women

the 1960s practically spent. We see abstract

out America. A decade dominated by white

war American painting that had limped into

re-emergence—of other art centers through-

over America in the 1960s, and in doing so,

Lyman Kipp

rejected by still other artists who wanted

movements burst on the scene. Art took

Minoru Kawabata

but still new and distinctive; and be overtly

power, feminism, and other civil and social

Matsumi Kanemitsu

hands of others into something recognizable

ists from other countries—long before Black

Raymond Jonson

number of these painters; translate in the

artists, artists of other ethnicities, and art-

Masatoyo Kishi

rode off in every direction.

to examine very different aesthetics, and at least a few cases had been examining them for quite a few years. Indeed, several of the

James Kuo

so much of what got buried was and remains

Sidney Wolfson

religion, their raison d’être; in the ‘60s they

heyday. More’s the pity—not simply because

Albert Stadler

their belief system, their philosophy and their

dencies have been paid little heed since their

Vivian Springford

even their enemies to be doing it. Art was

as phenomena in their own right, these ten-

Ralph Rosenborg

to what they were doing but to the need for

now lauded as heroes of American art, but

Paul Reed

all were active, engaged, committed not just

serve as frameworks for specific painters

Leon Polk-Smith

selves re-emerging almost in triumph. But

even contemporary art; at best, they might

put out to pasture, while others found them-

note in most standard histories of modern or

them found themselves adrift, seemingly

developments has rated much above a foot-

nuation of abstract expressionism, some of

United States during the 1960s. None of these

going back to the 1930s; with the superan-

in art—that is, among artists—working in the

artists here were veterans of artistic disputes

This exhibition looks at several developments

Beatrice Mandelman Howard Mehring Rakuko Naito Sumiye Eugenia Okoshi Betty Parsons

found the audience suddenly growing much

ous decade), and now they could reasonably

transition from modernism to post-modern-

expressionism had engendered in the previ-

of art at a time of dynamic fluctuation. The

David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

part to the romance and controversy abstract

but because it gives body to the context

larger and more curious (thanks in such great

so engaging and attractive in its own right,

GalleRy DirectoRs

ity of that transition can be so much better

www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com

hope, no matter how radical their ideas or

ism began in the 1960s, and the complex-

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284

practices, to catch someone’s ear—and eye.


1

October 15 – November 13, 2010 Curated by Gary Snyder

Beatrice Mandelman Selected works from the 1960s  

A small solo exhibition in the north gallery of Beatrice Mandelman, a Taos Modernist, will offer a selection of her work from the 1960s, inc...

Beatrice Mandelman Selected works from the 1960s  

A small solo exhibition in the north gallery of Beatrice Mandelman, a Taos Modernist, will offer a selection of her work from the 1960s, inc...