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."


November 29, 2014

Happy (if slightly belated) Thanksgiving! Hope all of my readers are enjoying this little holiday break as much as I am!


November 22, 2014

Tags: Richard Estes, Susan Roth

Susan Roth, North Country Girl, 2013. Powder coated steel, acrylic paint. 29" x 24" x 12". Private Collection. Courtesy S&D Studios and Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, The George Washington University. Photo: Darryl Hughto.
Washington DC has a number of worthwhile shows this autumn: Neo-Impressionism at the Phillips Collection, Richard Estes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and – most provocatively – Susan Roth at the Luther W. Brady Gallery. It made for a busy day for me, but I got them all in.


Moving in (more…)


November 14, 2014

Tags: Hofmann, Sholto Ainslie, Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). Midwest from America Today (1930–31), mural cycle consisting of ten panels. Egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood panels with a honeycomb interior. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012
I feel guilty at not getting to Chelsea more often, or wherever this new recrudescence of abstraction is supposedly taking place. Abstract artist-friends have been telling me how much more new abstract painting there is than there used to be, but I haven’t seen anything recently I could recommend.

Imagine my delight, then, (more…)


November 2, 2014

Tags: Norman Lewis, Lee Krasner

Installation view of From the Margins: Lee Krasner/Norman Lewis, 1945-52. (c) The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo by: David Heald. 2nd from left: "Twilight Sounds;" 4th from left: "Stop and Go;" 5th from left, "Black and White Squares No. 1;" 1st from right: "Magenta Haze."
At The Jewish Museum, we have “From the Margins: Lee Krasner / Norman Lewis, 1945-1952” (through February 1). The implication of this title is that these two artists have been unfairly marginalized in the critical dialog surrounding abstract expressionism because one artist was a woman and the other was of African descent. (Here we go again – that old devil Clement Greenberg was a racist & a sexist, and Harold Rosenberg must – for once – have been just as bad.) (more…)