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."

MATISSE AT MOMA

December 30, 2014

Tags: Matisse

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Two Dancers (Deux danseurs), 1937-38. Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, notebook papers, pencil, and thumbtacks. 31 9/16 x 25 3/8” (80.2 x 64.5 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Dation, 1991. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Undoubtedly the biggest crowd-pleaser of the autumn is “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at The Museum of Modern Art (extended through February 10, 2015).

Billed as “the most extensive presentation of Matisse’s cut-outs ever mounted,” this mammoth exhibition offers about 100 unique examples of this distinctive form of expression that occupied the major part (more…)

INCREDIBLE GIFT: LAUDER'S CUBISTS

December 22, 2014

Tags: Braque, Gris, Léger, Picasso

Georges Braque, Mandolin and Fruit Dish. Paris, early 1909. Oil on canvas, 15 1/8 × 18 1/8 in. / 38.4 × 46 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Promised Gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Not even The Metropolitan Museum of Art has within my memory received a gift as generous as the promised gift that is presently displayed there as “Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection” (through February 16, 2015). And it’s not just the size of the gift that makes it so generous, although it's a whale of a lot of art. (more…)

STOCKING STUFFER?

December 12, 2014

Tags: Pollock

Jackson Pollock Painting "Autumn Rhythm." Photo by Hans Namuth, (c) Hans Namuth Ltd.
Maybe you have a friend with a five-foot shelf of every book about Jackson Pollock ever written. Or maybe you have a friend who doesn’t know much about Pollock but seems to be interested and would like to know more.

Or maybe you have a friend who falls somewhere between these two extremes, (more…)

EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE

December 8, 2014

Tags: Théodore Rousseau, Willard Boepple

Willard Boepple, "Bed," 2014. Wood, 64 x 92 x 45 inches. Photo: Étienne Frossard. Courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York.
Over on the east side of town, we have The Morgan Library and Museum, to which I was drawn by “The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon” (through January 18, 2015).

As anybody who has had to read up for orals in 19th century European painting knows, Rousseau, (more…)