In October of 1974, Artists Space’s galleries were occupied by three shows that bore no obvious thematic connection, but organized as three separate solo exhibitions.
In the rear gallery, Judy Pfaff constructed a visual environment which spanned three walls and a wide range of media, synthesizing and expanding a modernist painting vocabulary into a large-scale architectural intervention – “a veritable encyclopedia of au courant abstract sculptural and pictorial incident,” as one Artforum critic proclaimed that December. Pfaff had completed her MFA at Yale University the year before and was chosen for a solo exhibition by Al Held, then on the Yale faculty; this exhibition marked her second in New York.
Don Wynn, selected by Jack Beal, exhibited a body of realistically rendered landscape paintings. At the time of the show, Wynn had been exhibiting in New York since the early 1960s, and a few years prior had participated in a group exhibition at the Whitney – a highly unusual background for an exhibition candidate at Artists Space.
Elsewhere in the galleries, Gwynn Murrill presented a group of animal sculptures constructed from laminated wood blocks. Faceless and with perfectly smooth surfaces, the figured animals rested on the brink of synthesis and decomposition, either about to spring into action or collapse to pieces.