One of the things that I like best about some of Andy Warhol’s work is that it’s like looking through one of those large fashion celebrity magazines. You can take it all in quickly, and then move on to more important things. It passes the time. The recent show of Warhol at the Gagosian Gallery is totally taken up with his “Liz” portraits and are pretty and vapid at the same time. This may have to do with the subject of these portraits, I would much prefer a gallery full of his Marilyn’s or the soup cans, but the show did make me smile and the back room gallery with lots of Liz’s is the best part of the exhibit. The other pop show now up is at the Paula Cooper Gallery and is a dull exhibition of Roy Lichenstein’s paintings of architectural moldings which he called the Entablatures Series. He did these between 1971 and 1976 and these are pop without the pop, they just poop. Lichentstein always worked best when he was lifting images from the comics and other obscure popular imagery and was not so successful when making up his own images, like these borders which are minimal and for me devoid of any visual excitement. They are big. Or to quote Barbara Rose from the press release:
“the mechanical reformulation of the romantic tradition of landscape and seascape, an anti-naturalism as appropriately satirical of our technological environment as the anti-humanism of the cartoon style was of the traditional heroic subjects of love and war. ” No wonder I can’t stand most art criticism.