The Easel

Total Surface: Barnett Newman’s Late Work / Interviews with Michelle White and Bradford A. Epley by David Ebony

Barnett Newman believed that his paintings with their vertical “zips” were epic.  Some critics at the time agreed and, as the curator of a recent show comments, the paintings do “[push] you out and into your own physical space [when standing] in front of the work”.  But critical ardour has perhaps cooled with time. Grumbled Robert Hughes, Newman’s colour field style “encouraged a phony grandiloquence”.