olitski capsule review
Post #566 • June 27, 2005, 1:06 PM • 11 Comments
My capsule review of the Olitski show at the Goldman's lies below. Commenters, self included, have bellyached about the lack of coverage of this show in the local press, and suggested damning implications about the scene because of it. I agree with many of them, but I want to point out that the fact that the New Times didn't run this doesn't necessarily indicate anything. Little concerns create big consequences in newspapers and you never know what kind of issues will cause or prevent something from running; the transsexual prostitute takes out a two-column ad in the back of the magazine instead of his/her usual one, and suddenly capsule reviews have to drop to twelve column-inches from sixteen, etc. etc. Other points about this show not getting coverage still apply.
Olitski has gotten better with age, and sixty years is a long time to get better. Laboring in the Modernist mold - pure abstraction, and success by any means necessary - he displays a hearty ability to work a style to its logical conclusions and then jettison it in favor of still greater achievements. The most recent paintings show an enormous level of verve, using fried-egg shapes on tumultuous backgrounds and the wildest colors available. Olitski nevertheless makes them hold together masterfully, as if they were a riot frozen in time. A prefacing show of color field painting by other important artists sets up Olitski's oeuvre perfectly.
My review of this show on Artblog.net, in the end, proved to be the only one written in English that ever came out in the local media.