Two Interesting Talents Make Debut

Review by Hilton Kramer in New York Times, June 13, 1970

As the art season draws to a close this month, two interesting new talents — both women — are making their debut in New York with solo exhibitions: Kay Kurt at the Kornblee Gallery, 58 East 79th Street, and Pat Lipsky at the Emmerich Gallery, 41 East 57th Street. Both are painters with strongly defined styles. Both bring impressive technical gifts to their work and both leave an impression of large ambitions and clearly thought-out positions on questions of style and pictorial method.


Miss Lipsky is a painter of a very different sort. She is an abstractionist of the color-field persuasion, and like other painters who work in this style, she paints large pictures that depend on a high degree of technical control for the realization of a very restricted formal idea.

Whereas other color abstractionists have concentrated — at least lately — on hard-edge, straight-lined, symmetrical, and often geometrical forms, Miss Lipsky reintroduces the drip, splatter and smear of abstract expressionism for notably anti-expressionist purposes. For she uses the splatter-edged form almost as if it were a tidy geometrical shape, placing it as a single motif on an otherwise “empty” canvas.

Inevitably, one is reminded of other painters in looking at Miss Lipsky’s work. Specifically, her color seems to owe something to Paul Jenkins, and the general feel of her method suggests the earlier pictures of Helen Frankenthaler. But the real sources here are Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Miss Lipsky has gone back to Pollock and Rothko for the “content” of her art while deriving her “form” from the color abstractionists who succeeded them.

Despite these sources and associations, however, she establishes a very clear pictorial identity Of her own. Her pictures are very handsome, and it will be interesting to see how she develops what is already a bold pictorial intelligence.

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