Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 5-7 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard-copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."

SMALL ISLANDS, BIG CHARM

June 16, 2016

Tags: Arthur Yanoff

Arthur Yanoff, Windward Mark, 2013-15. Acrylic and collage on canvas, 43 x 79 1/4 inches.
The Thimble Islands are an archipelago of more than 100 pieces of land in Long Island Sound, off northeastern Connecticut. Some are big enough for people to live on, but many more are just tiny granite outcroppings. Arthur Yanoff visited them a year or so ago, and created a sequence of abstract paintings about them. This is now the subject of a charming little exhibition at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut. (more…)

WHAT OUR GALLERISTS HAVE BEEN UP TO

June 2, 2016

Tags: Frank Bowling, Jules Olitski, Roy Lichtenstein, Kenneth Noland, Stanley Boxer, Lee Krasner, Esteban Vicente, Yunhee Min

Yunhee Min, Movements (swell 1), 2015. Acrylic on linen, 45 x 45 inches (114.3 x 114.3 cm). (AMY28111). Courtesy Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe & the artist.
Our enterprising gallerists have more than one way to promote the artists they believe in. Here's a rundown of a slew of displays of work during this past winter and spring that I’ve found worth prospecting. (more…)

VAN DYCK AT THE FRICK: MASTER PORTRAITIST

May 22, 2016

Tags: Van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641). Charles I and Henrietta Maria Holding a Laurel Wreath, 1632. Oil on canvas. Arcibiskupský zámek a zahrady v Kroměříži, Kroměříž.
At The Frick Collection, though you may have to hustle before it closes, is “Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture” (through June 5). For those with eyes unblinkered by Duchampianism, this 17th century maestro offers a thoroughly admirable object lesson in how to please one’s contemporaries while also pleasuring generations to come. (more…)

THE MET AND THE MEDIA

May 17, 2016

Tags: Nasreen Mohamedi, Titian

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), (Italian, ca. 1485/90?–1576), The Flaying of Marsyas, probably 1570s. Oil on canvas, 86 5⁄8 × 80 1⁄4 in. (220 × 204 cm). Archdiocese Olomouc, Archiepiscopal Palace, Picture Gallery, Kromĕříž.
On May 22, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made Page One of the New York Times, contrasted negatively with the Museum of Modern Art. To understand this placement, the truth of the story, and the extent to which it propagated the situation described, one must know something about how the Times treats art in general.

(more…)

POLITICS: THE OUTLOOK

May 2, 2016

Tags: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump

On April 19, I voted in the New York State primary. This, I learned four days later, was my one chance to materially affect the outcome of the 2106 race to the White House.

What happened four days later? Well, I attended a very interesting “Women in Media Conference” at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. (more…)

WARRINGTON COLESCOTT, WISCONSIN ORIGINAL

April 25, 2016

Tags: Warrington Colescott

Warrington Colescott, Death in Venice - Dark Gondola, 1971. Etching and aquatint, 16” x 12."
On my way out to see Rich Timperio's winter extravaganza at Sideshow, I paused at Figureworks on North 6th Street in Williamsburg. Via email, this gallery had informed me that it was staging “Warrington Colescott: Death in Venice” (closed, alas, on the day I saw it, February 28).

I’d been curious about this artist (more…)

6 SOLOS—2 SPECIOUS, 1 STATELY, 3 WHIMSICAL

April 19, 2016

Tags: Carrie Moyer, Landon Metz, Tai-Shan Schierenberg, Gaston Lachaise, Theodore Roszak, Hedda Sterns

Hedda Sterne, Machine Motor Light Blue, 1951. Oil on linen, 39 x 31 3/4 inches (99.1 x 80.6 cm). "Hedda Sterne" lower right on reverse, HS 134. © The Hedda Sterne Foundation, Inc. / Licensed by ARS, New York, NY.
On recent strolls through Chelsea & environs, I saw six shows, featuring three living artists (Carrie Moyer, Landon Metz & Tai-Shan Schierenberg), and three dead ones (Gaston Lachaise, Theodore Roszak, & Hedda Sterne). By a twist of fate, all the shows by the living artists have closed, while you can still get to those of the dead ones. Something here about how life may end, but art goes on… (more…)

BULLETIN FOR NEW YORKERS

April 19, 2016

It's primary day in New York. Don't forget to vote, my fellow New Yorkers -- regardless of your preference! Polls open in the Big Apple till 9 pm.

VIGÉE LE BRUN AT THE MET: MUST I?

April 13, 2016

Tags: Elisabeth Louise Vigée Lebrun

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris). Marie Antoinette with a Rose, 1783. Oil on canvas, 46 x 35 in. (116.8 x 88.9 cm), Lynda and Stuart Resnick.
In its seemingly unrelenting search to come up with the “relevant,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art is giving us “Vigée Lebrun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France” (through May 15). This is the first retrospective in modern times of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Lebrun (1755-1842), billed as “France’s last great royal portraitist,” and not so coincidentally, a woman (more…)

POLLOCK AT MOMA: THE BEST SHOW IN NEW YORK

March 31, 2016

Tags: Pollock

Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Gothic. 1944. Oil on canvas, 7’ 5/8” x 56” (215.5 x 142.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Bequest of Lee Krasner, 1984. © 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Maybe it’s because I’m so old-fashioned, or maybe it’s because I just know quality when I see it, but anyway for me, the best show in New York right now is “Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934 – 1954” at the Museum of Modern Art (through May 1). (more…)