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."

BROTHER ACT

August 1, 2015

Tags: Kenneth Noland, Neil Noland

Neil Noland, Untitled, 6-29-83. Glazed ceramic, 15 1/4 x 25 x 1 in. Lent by Johanna Vanderbeek.
Again I’m late, but still want to report on two good shows by talented brothers. One show displayed shaped canvases by Kenneth Noland in Manhattan (closed yesterday); the other featured ceramic sculptures by Neil Noland, one of Kenneth’s younger brothers, on Long Island (closed today). I’ll also report on two art fairs I saw on Long Island. (more…)

MANNA FOR ANGLOPHILES

July 25, 2015

Tags: Frederic Leighton

Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, ca. 1895. Oil on canvas, 46 7/8 x 46 7/8 inches. Museo de Arte de Ponce, The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.
Being a passionate Anglophile, I’m delighted by two of this summer’s shows. They are “The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760-1860,” at the Yale University Art Gallery (with 300 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and medallions, through July 26), and “Flaming June,” at The Frick Collection (just one painting—but what a one!—through September 6). (more…)

SMOLDERING, CHEKHOVIAN, + A LINK TO LINK

July 17, 2015

Tags: James Little, Philip Gerstein, John Link

Philip Gerstein, Ysabel's Table Dance (composite alternative take), 2007-2012. Oil stick & acrylic on canvas, 54 x 63 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Again racing against the clock, I present two more shows by abstract painters I’ve seen and admired: “James Little: Color/Barriers, Recent Work” at June Kelly in SoHo (closed June 23) and “Being There: Abstract Paintings of Philip Gerstein” at André Zarre in Chelsea (through July 29). Plus a link to a lively article by John Link. (more…)

THE NEW, NEW WHITNEY--THE HOT HOT NEWS OF THE SEASON (WITH A CODA ON THE MISHKIN)

July 11, 2015

Whitney Museum of American Art. View from Gansevoort Street. Photographed by Ed Lederman, 2015.
Everybody asks me, “Have you seen the new Whitney?” Well, yes, I have – along with about 2/3 of New York. The reason everybody asks, I suspect, is so that they can say they’ve seen it, too. The brand-new home of The Whitney Museum of American Art, in Lower Manhattan, must be the most popular and fashionable spot to visit this season. (more…)

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…)