(An Appropriate Distance)


FROM THE MAYOR'S DOORSTEP

By Piri Halasz

Tags

Report from the Front

Art criticism, art comment, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 5-7 times a year. For new shows, see "events;" for hard-copy rates and ways to support the online edition, see "works."

STOCKING STUFFER?

December 12, 2014

Tags: Pollock

Jackson Pollock Painting "Autumn Rhythm." Photo by Hans Namuth, (c) Hans Namuth Ltd.
Maybe you have a friend with a five-foot shelf of every book about Jackson Pollock ever written. Or maybe you have a friend who doesn’t know much about Pollock but seems to be interested and would like to know more.

Or maybe you have a friend who falls somewhere between these two extremes, (more…)

EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE

December 8, 2014

Tags: Théodore Rousseau, Willard Boepple

Willard Boepple, "Bed," 2014. Wood, 64 x 92 x 45 inches. Photo: Étienne Frossard. Courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York.
Over on the east side of town, we have The Morgan Library and Museum, to which I was drawn by “The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon” (through January 18, 2015).

As anybody who has had to read up for orals in 19th century European painting knows, Rousseau, (more…)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 29, 2014

Happy (if slightly belated) Thanksgiving! Hope all of my readers are enjoying this little holiday break as much as I am!

PLEASURES ON THE POTOMAC

November 22, 2014

Tags: Richard Estes, Susan Roth

Susan Roth, North Country Girl, 2013. Powder coated steel, acrylic paint. 29" x 24" x 12". Private Collection. Courtesy S&D Studios and Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, The George Washington University. Photo: Darryl Hughto.
Washington DC has a number of worthwhile shows this autumn: Neo-Impressionism at the Phillips Collection, Richard Estes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and – most provocatively – Susan Roth at the Luther W. Brady Gallery. It made for a busy day for me, but I got them all in.

POINTILLISM AT THE PHILLIPS

Moving in (more…)

NOODLING AROUND THE UES

November 14, 2014

Tags: Hofmann, Sholto Ainslie, Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). Midwest from America Today (1930–31), mural cycle consisting of ten panels. Egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood panels with a honeycomb interior. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012
I feel guilty at not getting to Chelsea more often, or wherever this new recrudescence of abstraction is supposedly taking place. Abstract artist-friends have been telling me how much more new abstract painting there is than there used to be, but I haven’t seen anything recently I could recommend.

Imagine my delight, then, (more…)

FROM THE FORTIES: LEWIS, KRASNER

November 2, 2014

Tags: Norman Lewis, Lee Krasner

Installation view of From the Margins: Lee Krasner/Norman Lewis, 1945-52. (c) The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo by: David Heald. 2nd from left: "Twilight Sounds;" 4th from left: "Stop and Go;" 5th from left, "Black and White Squares No. 1;" 1st from right: "Magenta Haze."
At The Jewish Museum, we have “From the Margins: Lee Krasner / Norman Lewis, 1945-1952” (through February 1). The implication of this title is that these two artists have been unfairly marginalized in the critical dialog surrounding abstract expressionism because one artist was a woman and the other was of African descent. (Here we go again – that old devil Clement Greenberg was a racist & a sexist, and Harold Rosenberg must – for once – have been just as bad.) (more…)

COMING ATTRACTIONS, PART TWO (ALMOST ALL ALREADY HERE)

October 27, 2014

Richard Estes. Diner. 1971. Oil on canvas, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Museum purchase 1977 . © Richard Estes, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York. Photo by Lee Stalsworth.
Here's the second installment of my report on exhibitions of greater than average interest this autumn, not only in New York but also within busing distance of the Big Apple.

The Museum of Modern Art has several “historical” retrospectives on the boards for this season. There’s one for Robert Gober (more…)

COMING ATTRACTIONS, PART ONE (SOME ALREADY HERE)

October 20, 2014

Helena Rubinstein holding one of her masks from the Ivory Coast, 1934. Photograph by George Maillard Kesslere. Helena Rubinstein Foundation Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, Special Collections
Once again, a new fall season awaits us. Although I’m a bit late with it, I’d like to give you folks a rundown on coming attractions at the museums--some of which are already here. Sometimes I don’t get around to reviewing these shows until they’re fairly far along, which is (more…)

TWO UNFORGETTABLES

October 12, 2014

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis

Morris Louis, Tet, 1958. Acrylic resin (Magna) on canvas, 94 1/8 x 152 1/8 in. (239.1 x 386.4 cm.) Collection Whitney Museum, New York, NY, courtesy Mnuchin Gallery. Digital image (c) Whitney Museum of Art, NY (c) 2014 Maryland College Institute of Art (MICA). Rights administered by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, All Rights Reserved
Two unforgettables are currently in their last week of exposure on the Upper East Side, Helen Frankenthaler at Gagosian & Morris Louis at Mnuchin. If you haven't already seen these splendid shows, make a point of getting there--this is painting as painting should be (and so rarely is).

Peter Schjeldahl, in the New Yorker, was (more…)

4 FOR THE FUTURE

October 6, 2014

Tags: George Hofmann, Ben Dowell, Liv Mette Larsen, Paula De Luccia

Left to right: Paula De Luccia, Mill Wild(2008); Liv Mette Larsen, Neighborhood X (2014); Neighborhood IV (2014); and Neighborhood IX (2014).
In Manhattan just now we have two shows with four artists between them, all worthy of note. Two of these artists, George Hofmann & Ben Dowell, are holding forth in Williamsburg, while the other two, Liv Mette Larsen & Paula De Luccia, can be found on the Lower East Side. (more…)

Selected Works

Memoir
A journalist tells how she developed a radical theory of abstract painting through varied experience.
Travel
The go-go mini-guide telling where ‘60s swingers hung out, and how they went about swinging.

Quick Links