Three To See: New York

Victoria Stapley-Brown, The Art Newspaper, May 25, 2017

An elegant dance between realism and abstraction features in Luxembourg and Dayan’s exhibition Figures Toward Abstraction: Sculptures 1910-40 (until 1 July). Works by artists such as Jean Tingueley and Alberto Giacometti are included in this show driven by a collaboration between the gallerist Daniella Luxembourg and the architect Daniel Liebeskind, who says: “Sculpture itself is actually pure architecture”—form, without bothersome necessities like plumbing. All of the works are shown in the round and often appear figurative from some angles but dissolve into abstraction from others (see, for instance, how the face and hairdo in Henri Matisse’s 1930 sculpture Le Tiaré become lumps and planes from some directions). The most commanding sculpture in the exhibition, Rudolf Belling’s large and highly abstract 1919 depiction of three intertwined figures, Dreiklang (Triad), is given its own space. The work was shown in the Nazi’s Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937, demonstrating abstraction’s provocative power.