NEW YORK TIMES
By Joseph Masheck
Nov. 14, 1986
(Through Nov. 29.) Joop Sanders (Alfred Krem, 22 East 65th Street): It is nice to see somebody stick to his guns and have the world catch up. Joop (pronounced ”Yope”) Sanders came to New York from Amsterdam in 1939 as a teen-ager; 10 years later, he was the youngest founding member of ”The Club,” of those most radical painters of the day, the Abstract Expressionists. We would probably know him better by now if he hadn’t been back in Europe during the later 50’s.
In sampling two separate decades, the 60’s and the 80’s, this exhibition provokes a bracing double take. First comes a glowing roomful of paintings, each practically a monochrome but divided into rounded zones, from 1962 and 1963. Here a spiritual purity akin to Ad Reinhardt’s, though more lyrical, makes itself felt. Then, in another room, are works of the present, some on paper startlingly like paintings by that compatriot of Sanders’, Willem de Kooning. In a different vein, two small canvases, ”Pogrom” (1984) and ”Interrogation Room” (1986), would be morally serious even without the titles. Toughly sensitive and in more than one sense reviving are some small recent drawings and watercolors: in these the Orientalizing ”calligraphies” of artists and poets and others who refused to ”buy into” the American 50’s are renewed with winning finesse and timely conviction by an individualist still unspoiled.