“New York Cool” on View at the Grey Art Gallery

I dropped by the Grey Art Gallery at NYU this weekend and visited the show “New York Cool,” which is up through July 19.

“Although the late 1950s and early ’60s have often been viewed as a mere parenthesis between Abstract Expressionism, on the one hand, and Pop Art and Minimalism, on the other, many key innovations surfaced during this in-between era.”

The exhibition makes a convincing case for these years as a very alive moment, although an interim one, where a multiciplicity of styles and ideas were breaking through.

It was a good chance for me to look at work by some artists that I’d never really looked at closely enough, especially Robert Goodnough, James Lee Byars and Alex Katz.

There’s a double portrait by Alex Katz of his wife that seems suggestive of later work using double or serial images (like Warhol’s repetition ofsingle images, although the Katz work is painted by hand, not lithographed).

The Goodnough painting on view reminds me of Diebenkorn’s paintings, where the canvas retains earlier attempts, almost like frameworks, on the canvas. Or almost like a manuscript where words have been crossed out, new text written in by hand…

There isn’t a lot of work on display, but each piece has a lot to say so that the exhibit feels very full. It’s quite good that way.

There’s a lot of exciting things going on in the work on display here — an expansive moment on view.

This entry was published on June 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm and is filed under Art. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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