As I made my way through “On Line,” the austere, stridently dogmatic, sometimes revelatory exhibition “about line” at MoMA, I found myself thinking, Someone please wake me when the seventies are over! In the empire of curators, the sun never sets on the seventies. It is the undead decade. MoMA’s chief curator of drawings, Connie Butler, and guest curator Catherine de Zegher claim their show goes “beyond institutional definitions” of drawing and that it maps an alternative history. I wouldn’t go that far: “On Line” is well-traveled post-Minimalist territory, albeit with some wonderful loans and work from MoMA’s collection (naturally, it opens with Picasso; at MoMA, all modern art springs from the fountainhead of Pablo). The themes are familiar—ideas about grids, systems, performative procedures, and the like—which means that even the most recent pieces look as if they could have been made during the Nixon administration. The one nice thing about this purified retelling? We’re spared Surrealism.
more from Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine here.