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."

TWO AT THE MET: CRISTÓBAL DE VILLALPANDO & THE AVANT-GARDE IN RE WORLD WAR I

September 20, 2017

Tags: Cristóbal de Villalpando, C.R.W. Nevinson

Cristóbal de Villalpando (ca. 1649–1714), Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus, 1683. Oil on canvas. Col. Propiedad de la Nación Mexicana. Secretaría de Cultura. Dirección General de Sitios y Monumentos del Patrimonio Cultural. Acervo de la Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción. Puebla, Mexico.
As the summer season wound its way towards Labor Day, I visited two moderately interesting shows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque” (through October 15), and “World War I and the Visual Arts” (through January 7). (more…)

PLEASURABLE POLLOCK PRINTS & AVEDON PHOTOS AT THE GUILD HALL IN EAST HAMPTON

September 16, 2017

Tags: Pollock, Richard Avedon

Jackson Pollock, Untitled, CR1082 (P19) c. 1944-45. Printed in 1967. Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper. Edition 11/50. Sheet: 19 13/16 x 27 ¼ inches. Courtesy Washburn Gallery, New York, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Still catching up on summer highlights, I gave you two shows for which I abandoned the Big Apple on August 19, “Jackson Pollock: The Graphic Works,” and “Avedon’s America” both at the Guild Hall in East Hampton (and both through October 9). Although the second show reminded me of my middle-brow childhood, and the first, of my (somewhat more) high-brow adulthood, both furnished a wealth of pleasure. (more…)

FUN & GAMES AT THE WHITNEY WITH HÉLIO OITICICA

September 12, 2017

Tags: Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980), installation view of Tropicália (1966–67) at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2016. Plants, sand, birds, and poems by Roberta Camila Salgado, dimensions variable. Collection of César and Claudio Oiticica. © César and Claudio Oiticica. Image courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Photograph by Bryan Conley.
If you don’t care much for painting or sculpture, but want to have a fun time reliving the heady days of the late ‘60s and the early ‘70s, when postmodernism was still (relatively) fresh & original, let me recommend “Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through October 1). (more…)

LOVERLY LIMEY ORIGINALS ON PAPER IN PRINCETON

September 7, 2017

Tags: Turner, Ruskin, Thomas Girtin

Joseph Mallord William Turner, English, 1775–1851. Christ Church College, Oxford, 1832–33. Watercolour and bodycolour over graphite with scratching out, on paper. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.
Welcome back, readers! Lots of goodies in town in September, but one out-of-town show must get precedence, since it's closing so soon. It is "Great British Drawings from the Ashmolean Museum" at the Princeton University Art Museum (through September 17). And when that title says "great," it means it! (more…)

FMD IS ON VACATION

August 19, 2017

Will be returning mid-September. PH

FUN & WORTHINESS AT THE MORGAN

August 12, 2017

Tags: John Singer Sargent, Whistler, Frank Duveneck, John La Farge

Head of a Markhor Goat, Mesopotamia, Sumerian, Early Dynastic III, ca. 2550-2250 B.C. Copper alloy, shell, and red stone. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia; 29-20-3.
The Morgan Library and Museum has at least two shows this summer of interest to the art world. The largest, worthy one is “Henry James and American Painting” (through September 10). The smallest, fun one is “Noah’s Beasts: Sculpted Animals from Ancient Mesopotamia” (through August 27). (more…)

SUMMERTIME IN THE GALLERIES

August 1, 2017

Tags: Peter Joseph

Charlotte Park (1918-2010), Untitled (Black and White), ca. 1950. Oil and gouache on paper mounted on canvas, 14 7/8 x 18 in. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
Summertime, and the galleries (both commercial & non-profit) opt for group exhibitions, of which I have seen three that I liked: at Loretta Howard, Berry Campbell & The New York Studio School of Drawing Painting & Sculpture…while patrolling Chelsea I also happened upon a solo exhibition that I sort of liked, that of a British artist named Peter Joseph. (more…)

SUMMERTIME AT THE GUGGENHEIM

July 19, 2017

Tags: Ferdinand Hodler, Fernand Khnopff, Kandinsky, Brancusi

Installation View: Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris,1892–1897. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, June 30–October 4, 2017. Photo: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2017.
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…for museums sometimes, too. They can economize with shows that blasé New Yorkers might turn up their noses at – since tourists are the principal visitors at almost any Manhattan museum in July & August…..and sometimes these summer shows are worth seeing, too, even for New Yorkers—as is the case with a trio of exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum…. (more…)

THE ONE, THE ONLY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AT MOMA

July 3, 2017

Tags: Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959). Imperial Hotel, Tokyo. 1913–23. Cross section looking east. Ink, pencil, and colored pencil on drafting cloth, 15 x 40 in. (38.1 x 101.6 cm). The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York). © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
No question about it: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was – and is – America’s greatest architect. Less well known are the superb drawings on which his greatest works – both built and only conceived of – are based. All of which gives us two major reasons to visit the richly rewarding (if imperfect) exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, entitled “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive” (through October 1). (more…)

MONUMENTAL, MAGNIFICENT "AGE OF EMPIRES" AT THE MET

June 24, 2017

Rhinoceros. Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 2nd century B.C. Gilt bronze, rhinoceros 7¾ x 3¼ x 3⅞ in. (19.8 x 8.4 x 9.8 cm). Excavated in 2010, tomb no. 1 (Liu Fei, prince of Jiangdu, d. 129 B.C.), Dayunshan, Xuyi, Jiangsu Province. Nanjing Museum. Photo: Courtesy Nanjing Museum.
Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I’m passionate about the Han Dynasty, so it goes almost without saying that I am delighted with the latest show of it at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, entitled “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC – A. D. 220)” (through July 16). (more…)