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."

EARLY & LATE AVERY AT YARES ART

April 19, 2018

Tags: Milton Avery

Milton Avery (1885-1965), "Untitled (Wild Purple Mountain) / Untitled (Valley Floor), c. 1930s. Double-sided gouache on black paper, 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61cm). (Inv# 3104). Courtesy Yares Art.
For I don’t know how long, I have been aware of the big, spacious landscapes and seascapes of the later 1950s and early 1960s by Milton Avery (1885-1965), but it seems like forever. And I have to confess it has taken me a very long time to warm up to them. However, I have exceedingly warm feelings toward the current show at Yares Art, which is entitled "Milton Avery: Early Works on Paper + Late Paintings" (through April 30). (more…)

“ZURBURÁN’S JACOB AND HIS TWELVE SONS” AT THE FRICK COLLECTION

April 14, 2018

Tags: Zurburán

Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664), "Judah," ca. 1640–45. Oil on canvas , 79 1/4 x 40 3/4 inches (201.3 x 103.5 cm). © The Auckland Project/Zurbarán Trust. Photo credit: Robert LaPrelle.
As my first entry in the museum category in some time, I can recommend “Zurburán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons” at The Frick Collection (through April 22). This stately group of thirteen paintings, each measuring nearly 7 feet high and about 3½ feet wide, graces the East Gallery of the Frick, on the ground floor, and offers a telling contribution to the lore surrounding Francisco de Zurburán (1568-1664). (more…)

DIONYSIAN DZUBAS AT LORETTA HOWARD

April 11, 2018

Tags: Friedel Dzubas

FRIEDEL DZUBAS, "Northdrift", 1959. Oil on canvas, 19 x 38 inches. 'Friedel Dzubas' (lower left); signed, titled and inscribed 'DZUBAS /"NORTHDRIFT." Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery.
The current show at Loretta Howard is “Friedel Dzubas: Gestural Abstraction” (through April 21). It reminds me of an important article written by Clement Greenberg in 1947. Called “The Present Prospects of American Painting and Sculpture,” this article appeared in the British magazine Horizon. (more…)

“UNLOCKING THE GRID” AT BOOKSTEIN PROJECTS

April 5, 2018

Tags: Gottlieb, Joaquín Torres García

Adolph Gottlieb, Nostalgia for Atlantis, 1944. Oil and tempera on canvas, 20 x 25 inches. Image courtesy of Bookstein Projects, New York.
Lori Bookstein started out in the gallery business in 1997, with an Upper East Side space on 78th Street, which she opened with the still-memorable show of “Pat Lipsky’s Black Paintings.” Since then, the gallery has moved to West 57th Street and then again to Chelsea. There it shut up shop in the fall of 2016. But it seems you can’t keep a good woman down, so now Bookstein has returned to her roots, and opened up Bookstein Projects at 60 East 66th Street. At present her exhibition is a little jewel of a group show entitled “Unlocking the Grid” (through April 14). (more…)

THREE TALL WOMEN (ESPECIALLY FRANCINE TINT)

March 17, 2018

Tags: Louise P. Sloane, Arleen Joseph, Francine Tint

Francine Tint, Wonky, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 46 x 210 inches.
As March is National Women’s History Month, I cite the fine examples of 1) Louise P. Sloane, whose medium-sized & colorful, rigidly geometric abstract paintings grace the Two E Lounge in the stately Pierre Hotel (through May 31); 2) Arleen Joseph, whose modestly-scaled & colorful, gestural abstract paintings are ensconced in the busy Weill-Cornell Medical Associates clinic on West 72nd Street (through April 24), and 3) most of all, Francine Tint, who has gambled on Cavalier, a somewhat atypical gallery relatively new to the Big Apple, to present her classic yet audacious & brilliantly-hued abstract paintings in “Explorations by Francine Tint,” inhabiting Cavalier’s 4th Floor space at 3 West 57th Street (through March 24). Already, “Explorations” has garnered three enthusiastic reviews – this one is merely the fourth. (more…)

“THE ART SHOW” & THREE GALLERY SHOWS

March 8, 2018

Tags: John Opper, Peter Plagens

Peter Plagens, A Literary Sensibility, 2017. Mixed media on canvas, 72 x 66 inches. Courtesy Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York.
Early March is a time of madness in Manhattan, with art fairs proliferating like rabbits. This year, the granddaddy of them all, “The Art Show,” as mounted in the Park Avenue Armory by the Art Dealers’ Association of America, staged its event the week before everybody else. I went, and will report on it. However, I also saw three Chelsea gallery shows closing this weekend (on March 10) – at Berry Campbell, on John Opper; at Luhring Augustine, on late medieval/early Renaissance paintings and sculpture; and at Nancy Hoffman, on Peter Plagens. (more…)

ONCE MORE, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

February 25, 2018

Once again, Richard Timperio and his seemingly endless corps of talented associates have brought to birth the annual monumental group show at Sideshow in Williamsburg (through March 24). This year, it’s called “Sideshow Nation VI: The Greatest Show on Earth!” and for those of us who treasure the fine art of painting, it is all of that—not least because it enshrines this art in a becoming context of timeliness and humor. (more…)

FUN & GAMES IN THE GALLERIES

February 11, 2018

Tags: Ray Parker, Gordon Parks, Jack Bush

Jack Bush (1909-1977), Pink Blossom, 1964. Oil on canvas, 72 x 70 inches (182.9 x 177.8 cm), Inv. #3238.
Having been in Oregon at the end of January, I’m behind in my limited reporting on the galleries, but I did do a little pulse-taking. Two Chelsea shows that inspired me to prose were “Ray Parker: The Nines” at Washburn (through March 3) and “Gordon Parks: I Am You – Part 1” at the 24th Street gallery space of Jack Shainman (closed February 10, but with “Part 2” scheduled for February 15 through March 24). A third show uptown that really turned me on was “Fields of Color” at Yares Art (through February 17). (more…)

YET ANOTHER WASHINGTON COLOR SCHOOL PAINTER: KENNETH YOUNG

February 11, 2018

Tags: Kenneth V. Young

Kenneth Victor Young (1933-2017), Untitled, circa 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 54 1/4 x 54 inches (HTC14748). Courtesy Hollis Taggart Galleries
From the fact that Yares now features Thomas Downing and Gene Davis, though neither of these Washington Color School painters ever made it to Clement Greenberg’s “preferred” list, I deduce that the market may be getting tight in those painters who were on that list. But Downing and Davis were not the only members of that school, and Hollis Taggart recently (closed February 8) showed off five untitled canvases by a third, Kenneth Victor Young, as part of an “Inventory Show.” (more…)

AND RIGHT NEXT DOOR, DAVID HOCKNEY

February 6, 2018

Tags: David Hockney

David Hockney, Kas and Jane, 1965. Crayon on paper, 17 x 13 3/4 inches framed (43.2 x 34.9 cm framed). © David Hockney.
Museum-goers up to a change in pace from the divine to the merely worldly can find lighter, cheerier sustenance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art by walking down the hall from Michelangelo to “David Hockney” (through February 25). This show of about 70 paintings, collages, drawings and photography by an internationally-known 80-year-old Yorkshire-born enfant terrible comes to the U.S. after a triumphal tour through the Tate in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. (more…)