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."

THE WORLD IN AN APPLE: CÉZANNE IN PHILLY

August 30, 2014

Tags: Cézanne

Paul Cézanne, Pitcher and Plate with Pears (Pichet et assiette de poires), 1895–98, oil on canvas, 19 5⁄16 × 23 3⁄16 in. (49 × 59 cm), Private Collection (Courtesy Nancy Whyte Fine Arts, Inc).
You would think that, with 69 Cézannes in its permanent collection, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia might feel it had enough Cézanne, but no—it seems to feel that it can never get enough.

Since I feel the same way, I beat feet to Philadelphia to see the Barnes’s latest special exhibition, (more…)

OLD & NEW

August 23, 2014

Tags: Turner, Thomas Girtin, Master of Claude de France, William Perehudoff

William Perehudoff (1918 - 2013), AC-85-015, 1985, acrylic on canvas, 42 x 82 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell Gallery, New York.
Pomonians tend to have short artistic memories. Or so, at least, is the conclusion I've come to from seeing how august museums like the Met, the Frick and the Morgan seem to feel that to attract younger museum-goers, they must augment their invaluable holdings in older art with all the latest buzz (no matter how feeble). Modernists, on the other hand, (more…)

FUTURISM AT THE GUGGENHEIM

August 16, 2014

Tags: Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carrá, Luigi Rossolo, Gino Severini, Umberto Boccioni

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (Forme uniche della continuitŕ nello spazio), 1913 (cast 1949). Bronze, 121.3 x 88.9 x 40 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image Source: Art Resource, New York
Way back in February, I went to the media preview of “Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (through September 1).

This is the kind of show that I normally applaud: a lavish, clearly expensive, multimedia extravaganza of a major modern movement, with more than 360 works by more than 80 artists, architects, designers, photographers, and writers, borrowed from all over the civilized world. (more…)

A MAJOR WAVE, BACK WHEN....

August 12, 2014

Tags: Edward Avedisian, Paul Feeley, Helen Frankenthaler, David Smith

Edward Avedisian, Normal Love #1, 1963. Liquitex on canvas, 67 1/4 x 67 1/2 inches. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.
There was a time when the Manhattan art world was much smaller, and one movement could sweep across a large segment of it (though never commanding its entirety).

An example of this was the switch from painterly abstract expressionism to what Clement Greenberg called “post-painterly abstraction.” Though it received only a fraction of the publicity accorded pop, it was the guiding principle in (more…)

JAMES WOLFE AT THE NEW YORK STUDIO SCHOOL

August 2, 2014

Tags: James Wolfe

James Wolfe. "Leaphorn," 2014. Powder Coated Steel, 22 x 28 x 18 inches. Courtesy the artist.
As I said in my last post, I remember James Wolfe (b. 1944) from the late 80s, when his sculptures were exhibited at André Emmerich. In 1990, when I was preparing to go out to teach at Bethany College in West Virginia, George Hofmann sent me a copy of Sculpture magazine with an article in it (more…)