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."


August 22, 2011

Tags: Frans Hals

Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83--1666 Haarlem). Portrait of a Man, possibly Nicolaes Pietersz van Voorhout (born about 1600, died 1650). Ca. 1636-38, oil on canvas, 31 3/4 x 26 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.33)
Looking at dark, rich Old Masters in August is a little like consuming a heavy meal of meat & potatoes in 90-degree weather, instead of a light salad (like Fragonard ) or chilled borscht (like Kandinsky) . Nevertheless, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is treating us to another one of those (more…)


August 10, 2011

Tags: Zefrey Throwell, George Tun Sein

The New York Times, ever alert to novelty, ran a story on August 2 about "a site-specific work of performance art" called "Ocularpation: Wall Street." It was billed as a commentary on "work and the economy," and masterminded by an artist named Zefrey Throwell (that last name, compounded as it is (more…)


August 2, 2011

Tags: Francis Alys, Alexander McQueen, Vishnu

Vishnu in His Cosmic Sleep. Central India (Madhya Pradesh), c. 12th century. Sandstone. 14 9/16 x 27 9/16 in. Private collection, Euurope.
Summertime, and living is easy. Tourists swarm into Manhattan, and big museums try to lure these people, many of whom don’t know (or care) much (if anything) about modern painting & sculpture, into their air-conditioned halls. Many of these people (the Americans, anyway) just want to be able to say they’ve done their (more…)