Like a pig rooting for truffles I harvest luscious phrases from Roberta Smith’s art critiques.
After “he jumped on the Color Field painting bandwagon,” Jules Olitski (1922 – 2007) created works that “mess with space and scale in a visceral, almost sculptural way.”
His paintings have “wall power” and “come at us with cartoonish verve.”
They “tacitly ignore the medium’s physical limits, implying that the image extends far beyond the canvas….”
Olitski’s shapes “give us formalism at its most ferocious and most fun.” A critic who compares a shape to a “teething ring” is no slouch at fun. And it takes caliber to call a background “very pushy.”
Could the fact that “[Olitski’s] paintings have sometimes been called feminine” explain their appeal to my womanish nature? Not wholly; the man in me is on board with them too.
(Roberta Smith, “The Great Beginning of Jules Olitski,” NYTimes, 1-28-21)
(c) 2021 JMN