At Yares Art on Fifth Avenue is a stupendous show. It is entitled "Kenneth Noland: Context is the Key -- Paintings: 1958-1970" (through January 22, 2022). I don't know quite what "context" Yares refers to. Certainly the socioeconomic and political troubles of that far-off era, while they may seem trifling in retrospect, were no less dire at the time than our current evils seem today. Maybe the gallery is thinking in esthetic terms of the '60s as a period when the sun of modernism wasn't yet as nearly obscured by the clouds of anti-modernism, the way it is today. Whatever. Anyway, it's a helluva show.
At Yares Art, on Fifth Avenue 34 blocks south of the Jewish Museum, we have two eminently satisfactory exhibitions of more recent abstract art. The first is "Larry Poons/Frank Stella: As It Was/As It Is." The second is "Fields of Color III"(both through July 31). They afford a contrast that parallels my own development as a writer on abstraction. The first show equates to a period before I'd awakened to abstraction, and before I'd met either artist. The second represents a period after I'd met them both, and after Bill Rubin had sensitized me to abstraction--though much of the work in it was also done prior to the spring of 1968 (when Rubin effected this sensitization).
Catalogue essays for commercial galleries are a special form of literature. Although their writers are frequently referred to as "critics," these writers do not criticize in the sense that reviewers for independent publications might. As a rule, too, their essays are expected to focus on the works that the gallery will be displaying in this particular show, and to correlate their remarks with the presentation itself.
I don't have much to say about "Jules Olitski: Color to the Core: Paintings 1960-1964" at Yares Art on Fifth Avenue (through January 30). That is partly because I have often written about Olitski, and his enormous talents are well-known to many if not most of my readers. It is also partly because I want to post this review as early as possible in the new year, in hopes of alerting more viewers in time for them to get to the show itself. Let nobody think I don't admire it! Au contraire, I found it sensational, a terrific feast for the eyes and strongly recommended in fair times or foul. Don't miss it!
“We came to New York because we want to champion the most under-recognized and under-valued segment of the art market—Color Field Painting,” said Dennis Yares, founder of Yares Art, a pioneering gallery that has advanced modern abstract art on the West Coast and beyond since the 1960s.