Hayden Gallery shows Burton, Fleischner, NolandPrivate Works by Public Artists: Scott Burton, Richard Fleischner, Kenneth Noland, at the Hayden Gallery, through Nov.24. Ping Chong: KINDNESS, at the Reference Gallery, through Oct.27. Both galleries are located in the List Visual Arts Center, Wiesner Building (E15).
Concurrently with, and complementary to the opening of the Wiesner Building, the three artists involved in its design are presented in a small exhibition at the Hayden Gallery.
Kenneth Noland is the best-known of the three. He has been around for many years, consistently exploring the possibilities of geometrical abstract painting. A textbook example of the origins of this style is provided by the two works Ex Nihilo (1958) and Virginia Site (1959). Both feature a pattern of concentric circles, but whereas the first still treats this liberally, form and color of the second are subjected to strict discipline.
Embrown and 85-06 suggest scope and purpose of this art. They are similar in formal composition -- the main difference is in the color of the background, and consequently in the chromatic effect of the whole. Given the restricted vocabulary, it is not surprising to find strong reminiscences of other artists' work; Magus might have been signed by Frank Stella, Adjoin by Ellsworth Kelly.
Scott Burton, who was responsible for the bench and the stairway curve in the Wiesner Building atrium, is in a sense a craftsman-artist; he mainly designs art furniture. A fairly comprehensive set of table, chair, one-person and two-person bench in stainless steel is on display. Burton exploits the potential of unusual materials. His Two-Part Chair in granite is massive and monumental, his Lava Rock Chair has the capriciousness of a Baroque pulpit.
Richard Fleischner, finally, is the artist who organized the Wiesner Building courtyard. He is represented by a sturdy Froebel Block Construction, and by a bronze Figure on a Bench, the small scale of which is somewhat out of tone with the other exhibits. It is attractive, though, in displaying a profound sense of what might be called the weight of space -- not surprisingly for an artist whose main concern is the creation of integrated environments.
In the Reference Gallery KINDNESS is now completed, the fruit of Ping Chong's one-month residency at MIT. It is a two-level installation: on the upper level, a parquet-floored room sparely furnished with modern-time items; on the lower, a small, mysterious pond in which plants are floating. Thus the contrast between the modern technological world and a world of mystery, rituals and imagination is evoked.
The light alternates from above to below in a twenty-minute cycle, and the water in the pond is kept slowly circulating. It is a nice place to sit, look, listen and relax for a while.
The opening of the above exhibitions and of Henry Moore: Figures and Forms in the Sculpture Archives Gallery -- more about which later -- was preceded by the official presentation to MIT of Henry Moore's Reclining Figure by Albert and Vera List. Jerome Wiesner, I.M.Pei and Mrs. List briefly addressed those present, most of whom were members of the Council for the Arts. The sculpture has been located in the new courtyard behind the Wiesner Building.