Topics in American Art since 1945

By Lawrence Alloway | Go to book overview

THE
REUBEN GALLERY

A Chronology

The Reuben Gallery (at both its addresses, 61 4th Avenue and 44 East 3rd Street) was one of a number of downtown galleries, important in New York in the 50s, for showing new, experimental, or unfashionable work. This is not the place for a history of them, but reference to a few helps define the position of the Reuben Gallery. Allan Kaprow and George Segal came from the Hansa Gallery (the word compounded from Hans Hofmann's Christian name and the Hanseatic League), a cooperative gallery that ran from 1952 until the close of the 1958-59 season. Red Grooms used successive studios as a gallery: first the City Gallery (1958-59 season), then the Delancey Street Museum (1959-60 season), which coincided with the Reuben's first season. The Judson Gallery, including Dine and Oldenburg, paralleled the opening of the Reuben Gallery, and then, subsequently, joined it. There was, as these examples show, an easy contact between artist and gallery, an affinity between the act of production and the act of presentation, which was very different from the regular marketing or promotional activities of art dealers.

Pop art, used as a comprehensive term, includes most of the Reuben Gallery artists. However, their early work and personal developments are entirely different from other artists called Pop, such as Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein. There was, for instance, a strong expressionistic undercurrent to much of the work shown there. They are different again, despite a connection with John Cage in Kaprow's case, from Jasper Johns or from Robert Rauschenberg. To the extent that there is a Reuben Gallery style, it existed momentarily and was unevenly manifested in different artists. However, there was a shared quality which is

____________________
SOURCE: From Eleven from the Rueben Gallery (New York, 1965), unpaginated, the catalogue of the exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

-151-

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Topics in American Art since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Topics in American Art Since 1945 *
  • Contents 7
  • List of Illustrations 9
  • Introduction 11
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Abstract Expressionism 15
  • The Biomorphic '40s 17
  • Melpomene and Graffiti - Adolph Gottlieb's Early Work 25
  • The American Sublime 31
  • Barnett Newman - The Stations of the Cross and the Subjects of the Artist 42
  • Jackson Pollock's Black Paintings 52
  • Jackson Pollock's "Psychoanalytic Drawings" 58
  • Willem De Kooning 62
  • The Sixties, I - Hard Edge and Systems 65
  • Leon Polk Smith 67
  • Systemic Painting 76
  • Serial Forms 92
  • Sol Lewitt 96
  • Agnes Martin - (with an Appendix) 100
  • Gesture into Form - The Later Paintings of Norman Bluhm 111
  • The Sixties, II - Pop Art 117
  • Pop Art - The Words 119
  • Jim Dine 123
  • Rauschenberg's Graphics 125
  • Jasper Johns' Map 136
  • Marilyn as Subject Matter 140
  • Roy Lichtenstein's Period Style 145
  • The Reuben Gallery - A Chronology 151
  • In Place 155
  • The Sixties, III - Problems of Representation 161
  • Hi-Way Culture - (with Notes on Alan D'Arcangelo) 163
  • Art as Likeness - (with a Note on Post-Pop Art) 171
  • George Segal 182
  • Photo-Realism 185
  • Art and Interface 193
  • Allan Kaprow, Two Views 195
  • Artists and Photographs 201
  • The Expanding and Disappearing Work of Art 207
  • Stolen - (with Arakawa: an Interview) 213
  • Radio City Music Hall 218
  • Robert Smithson's Development 221
  • Art Criticism and Society 237
  • Notes on Op Art 239
  • The Public Sculpture Problem 245
  • The Uses and Limits of Art Criticism 251
  • Index 271
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