EXHIBITIONS BY YEAR
"Primitivism" in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern
27 September 1984 to 15 January 1985
New York Times Review of the exhibition
2 December 1984
One of the most unexpected developments in sculpture today is the sudden prevalence of wood. Wood occupies only a peripheral place in the history of Modernism. Twentieth-century giants like Brancusi, Picasso and Moore used wood, but it was not their primary sculpture material. During the wave of interest in direct carving in the United States between the wars, Herbert Ferber, Seymour Lipton and David Smith all worked in wood, but their major work came later, and the materials were metal and steel. After World War II, there was pioneering work in wood by Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois and Mark di Suvero, but wood remained so much outside the late Modernist mainstream that, for example, their work was all but excluded from the new, but historically conceived painting and sculpture installation at the Museum of Modern Art.
New York Times • Arts • page 29 • 1,635 words