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."

AUTUMN ATTRACTIONS

September 26, 2015

Tags: George Grosz

George Grosz (1893-1959), Panorama (Down with Liebknecht), 1919. Pen and ink and watercolor on paper. Private Collection. © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York.
Here's a rundown of some of the Big Attractions to be seen this autumn. This is definitely not everything on view, just shows that I – and, I like to think also my readers-- may want to see. A dozen-odd are in the Big Apple, another handful on the road. (more…)

A LOBBY OF QUALITY: "THE BENNINGTON LEGACY"

September 19, 2015

Tags: Willard Boepple, Isaac Witkin, James Wolfe

Isaac Witkin, Shogun, 1968. Bolted steel, 72 x 144 x 144 inches (182.9 x 365.8 x 365.8 cm.) Courtesy Nadine Witkin. Alison Sheehy Photography.
Most art in building lobbies is by unknowns & forgettable. A notable exception is Tower 49, at 12 East 49th Street: it shows gallery- and even museum-quality art. Just now it's exhibiting “The Bennington Legacy: Sculpture by Willard Boepple, Isaac Witkin, and James Wolfe” (through October 29). (more…)

INSPIRED ILLUSTRATION: TENNIEL, CARROLL & THE ONE, THE ONLY ALICE

September 10, 2015

Tags: John Tenniel

John Tenniel (1820-1914). "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" (The Mad Tea Party), 1885. Hand-colored proof. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., The Morgan Library and Museum. Photography by Steven H. Crossot, 2014.
If you're already obsessing about the new fall season, this review is not for you. But if, on the other hand, you've been out of town for the past few months, and still want to catch a few of the summer's best shows before they go down, may I recommend “Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland,” at the Morgan Library and Museum (through October 12). (more…)

JACOB LAWRENCE: THE EDUCATION ARTIST AT MOMA

September 4, 2015

Tags: Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence. The Migration Series. 1940-41. Panel 3: “In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry.” Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18″ (30.5 x 45.7 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. Acquired 1942. © 2015 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph courtesy The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
Various U.S. Presidents have claimed to be “the education President,” but none with claims to equal those of Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) to be “the education artist.” This is far less because – like so many other artists – he spent many years teaching. It is far more because his art combines art with history.

In fact, as our city's children head back to school, I can't think of a better way to show them that history need not be dull and dry than (more…)