“Shadow Dancing: 1975-79”
D’Amelio Terras, New York
January 6 – February 10, 2001
Barry Le Va
Each January, D’Amelio Terras has presented an historical exhibition of work by contemporary masters. This series of exhibitions was inaugurated in 1998 with Kusama/Warhol, followed in January 1999 by A Meditation on the Year 1960, and continued in January 2000 with an exhibition focusing on the years 1965-69 titled Four Sculptures. This January D’Amelio Terras presents Shadow Dancing, a look at the artists whose work defined the years 1975-79.
In the 1977 Whitney Biennial catalog Richard Marshall wrote, “The thesis of intellectual refinement and minimalism has spawned, in the seventies, an antithesis for which primitive-awkwardness is a virtue and subjectivity dictates image.” Sculptors maintained the minimalists’ interest in new materials, but shifted away from monumentality, adopting softer materials and working on a smaller and more personal scale. Painters returned to the image but rejected illusion, recognizing the power of archetypal forms while acknowledging the inherent artificiality of the picture plane. Many works produced between 1975 and 1979 are historically significant, yet the brief spotlight cast on this group of new artists was quickly eclipsed by the bravura and personalities of the early 80s neo-expressionists. After a quarter-century, the late seventies remain on the edge of recent memory. This exhibition attempts to bring this period out of the shadows and reintroduce it into current dialogue.