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."

WRINKLES, STRIPES & LINKS

July 4, 2015

Tags: Simon Hantaï, Tegene Kunbi, Friedel Dzubas

Tegene Kunbi, Danjerus Cable, 2015. Oil on canvas, 39 x 19 inches (100 x 50 cm). Image courtesy of Thatcher Projects, New York
We've had so many good abstract shows this spring that I must double up on some of them in order to catch at least a few before they close. Here I introduce those of Simon Hantaï at Mnuchin (closed June 26) and Tegene Kunbi at Margaret Thatcher Projects (up through July 17). To say nothing of some links well worth pursuing.

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TOUCHING FIVE (COUNT 'EM, 5)BASES

June 27, 2015

Tags: Björk, Peter Malone, Subodh Gupta, Stanley Whitney, Lucy Jones

Lucy Jones, Lucy Jones with Her Walking Stick, 1996. Oil on canvas, 86 x 61 3/4 in. Courtesy of the artist and Flowers Gallery, London/New York
Continuing my rounds of exhibitions greatly or slightly off the modernist path, I comment (belatedly, alas)on 1) “Björk” at the Museum of Modern Art (closed June 7); 2) “Peter Malone: Paintings” at The Painting Center (closed March 28); 3) “Subodh Gupta. Seven Billion Light Years” at Hauser & Wirth (closed April 25), as compared to “The Painter of Modern Life” at Anton Kern (closed April 11); and 4) "Lucy Jones: How Did You Get on This Canvas?” at Flowers (closed May 9). (more…)

"SWINGING LONDON" REVISITED

June 22, 2015

Tags: Piri Halasz

Piri Halasz delivered a paper on June 20 at a conference in New Haven of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars on “Transition from Mystery to History: How the Internet Revived My Faith in ‘Swinging London.’” (more…)

NOODLING AROUND THE NEXUS

June 21, 2015

Tags: Donatello, Jack White, Jilaine Jones, Louise P. Sloane, Richard Timperio

Richard Timperio, Dancer, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 39.5 x 33.5 inches. Courtesy the artist.
All the art fairs have been the nexus of the art scene in Manhattan this spring, but obviously hundreds of other viewing spaces have been showing their prides and joys as well. Four whom I’m going to highlight (alas, belatedly) in paragraphs below are 1) Jack White at Peg Alston (closed May 16); 2) “The Space Between” at the New York Studio School (closed March 22); 3) “Once Upon a Time and Now,” at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (officially closed April 6, though its permanent works remain on view) and 4) Louise P. Sloane & Richard Timperio at André Zarre (closed May 9). (more…)

THE ART FAIRS OF (MOSTLY) EARLY MARCH, AND DARBY BANNARD'S BRILLIANT INSIGHT

June 15, 2015

Tags: de Kooning, Irene Neal, Darby Bannard

Willem de Kooning. Untitled (Still Life with Eggs and Potato Masher), 1928-1929. Oil and sand on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. (c) Estate of Willem de Kooning, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York.
Following CAA, the next avalanche of art-world “news” to descend onto Manhattan was the art fairs that took place between March 4 & 8. The two original and most conspicuous were The Armory Show, on Piers 92 & 94 in the Hudson River, and The Art Show, at the Park Avenue Armory, but there were about ten others.

Together, these dozen offered more than 700 booths—of dealers from all over the world, plus (more…)

HEDONISM TRIUMPHANT: JILL NATHANSON AT BERRY CAMPBELL

June 4, 2015

Tags: Jill Nathanson

Jill Nathanson, Influence Green, 2014. Acrylic and polymers on panel, 40 x 50 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell, New York
Just as the death of Broadway has been predicted since movies first talked, so too reports of the death of painting have been greatly exaggerated. Not least its survival is due to artists like Jill Nathanson, whose current show at Berry Campbell combines traditional approaches with new technologies to create paintings that could only have been made in the 21st century. (more…)

CAA (PART TWO): OF GIFT-GIVING & "THE OTHER"

June 1, 2015

Tags: Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley Installation View. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Jonathan Dorado
In this installment, the second in which I'm covering the annual conference of the College Art Association, I deal with the last four sessions I attended, afterthoughts & research, and finally, a couple of contemporary art shows...the first installment (see directly below) has been revised & extended ( (more…)

CAA (PART ONE): OF CRITICS & ART MARKETS

May 31, 2015

Tags: Mark Grotjahn

Mark Grotjahn. Untitled (Circus No. 1 Face 44.18). 2012. Oil on cardboard mounted on linen. 8’ 5 1/2” × 72 1/2” (257.8 × 184.2 cm). Collection Donald B. Marron, New York. Courtesy Mark Grotjahn. Copyright Mark Grotjahn. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio
This two-part post deals primarily (though not exclusively) with the 103rd annual conference from February 11 to February 14 of the College Art Association. The first part replaces the April 9 post in which I discussed a show of contemporary painting & the first session I attended at CAA: I revised this post, condensed it & then added my experiences of the next three sessions I attended, all of which dealt with art-historical topics. The contemporary art is here because I think that it, more than anything else, determines how art history is seen & taught. (more…)

FERTILE INVENTION: AL LOVING AT GARTH GREENAN

May 25, 2015

Tags: Al Loving

Al Loving, Barbara in Spiral Heaven, 1989. Mixed media on paper. Collage. 93 1/2 x 141 inches. Courtesy the Estate of Al Loving and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York
May 21 was a good night for openings. I got to two, both at 529 West 20th Street. The one I'd come to see, and will discuss below, was “Al Loving” at Garth Greenan (through June 27). The other was “Shades of Paint”, a multifaceted group show at André Zarre (through June 24). (more…)

PROLIFIC POONS AT DANESE/COREY

May 16, 2015

Tags: Larry Poons

Larry Poons. Angle of Landscape, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 64 5/8 x 97 3/4 inches. Courtesy Danese/Corey.
It is truly amazing, how fertile is the invention of Larry Poons, still going strong at 77. Even more amazing is how successful are so many of the works in “Larry Poons: New Paintings” at Danese/Corey (through May 29).

Abstract expressionism, Monet lily pads and steamy (more…)