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."

POLLOCK AT MOMA: THE BEST SHOW IN NEW YORK

March 31, 2016

Tags: Pollock

Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Gothic. 1944. Oil on canvas, 7’ 5/8” x 56” (215.5 x 142.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Bequest of Lee Krasner, 1984. © 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Maybe it’s because I’m so old-fashioned, or maybe it’s because I just know quality when I see it, but anyway for me, the best show in New York right now is “Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934 – 1954” at the Museum of Modern Art (through May 1). (more…)

WORLD’S LARGEST ABSTRACT PAINTING: BY DZUBAS

March 24, 2016

Tags: Friedel Dzubas

Friedel Dzubas, (Apocalypsis Cum Figuras, A. D. 1975), Crossing, 1975. Magna acrylic on primed (gesso) cotton duck canvas, No. 10, 149 x 675 inches (375 x 1714.5 cm). Photo courtesy Bill Fertik.
Tower 49, that jolly lobby gallery located in a sleek and shiny Skidmore, Owings & Merrill building at 12 East 49th Street, has come up with another winning exhibition. This one is “Big Redux: Friedel Dzubas “Mural Paintings,” curated by our newest Dzubas expert, Patricia Lewy, and starring her truly great rediscovery, the nearly 60-foot long mural commissioned in 1975 by Lewis P. Cabot for the Shawmut National Bank in Boston, but hidden away in storage since 1991. (more…)

LEWIS & CLARK…FIRST, LEWIS

March 19, 2016

Tags: Norman Lewis, Titian

Norman Lewis, Title unknown, 1953. Oil and metallic paint on canvas, 41 1/2 x 71 in. Collection of the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey © Estate of Norman W. Lewis; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.
One nice thing about my hometown is its central location – one can go north to see art, or one can go south, so that’s what I’ve done – north to see The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and south to Philadelphia, to look in on a thunderous Titian at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and more importantly to linger over the full-dress Norman Lewis retrospective at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

As I am listing these shows more or less in order of their closing dates, I shall deal first with my southern journey & second, with my northern one. (more…)

NEXT, TO THE CLARK

March 19, 2016

Tags: Piero della Francesca, Pissarro, Constable, Fragonard, Renoir

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
I’ve long heard how admirable is the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Its many admirers rave about the impressionists in its permanent collection, but I have also heard much praise for those special exhibitions held in summer. (more…)

IRAN IN WASHINGTON SQUARE

March 12, 2016

Tags: Parviz Tanavoli

Parviz Tanavoli, Heech, 1972. Bronze on wood base, 22 1/4 x 12 x 8 in. Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection, Gift of Abby Weed Grey, G1975.54
A friend of mine who is primarily attuned to modernist painting & sculpture (as opposed to art of interest for its political or iconographic aspects) recommended that I see “Global/Local 1960-2015: Six Artists from Iran” at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery on Washington Square (through April 2). (more…)

JACOB RIIS’S “OTHER HALF” AT THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

March 7, 2016

Tags: Jacob Riis

"Five Cents a Spot," photo by Jacob A. Riis, ca. 1890 Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Roger William Riis
Although I believe most of my readers prefer the esthetic to the documentary, I don’t automatically tune out when politics in art rears its ugly head. Case in point: I belatedly found absorbing “Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half” at the Museum of the City of New York (through March 20, then at the Library of Congress in Washington, April 14 to September 5, and thereafter at Danish museums in Copenhagen and Ribe, Riis’s birthplace). (more…)

IN MEMORIAM

March 7, 2016

Tags: Douglas Haynes, Kikuo Saito, Geoffrey Rigden

I’m sorry to have to report on the recent deaths of three fine artists who may be known to some of my readers. They are: Douglas Haynes (b. 1936) who died in Edmonton from leukemia; Kikuo Saito (b. 1939), who died in New York from cancer and Geoffrey Rigden (b. 1943), who died in London of heart disease. My condolences to their families, and may their art go on!

WONDERLAND IN WILLIAMSBURG: TIMPERIO’S MAGNUM OPUS

March 2, 2016

Tags: Richard Timperio

"Down the Rabbit Hole" at Sideshow
For the 15th year, we are getting our marvelous double dose of TRULY WORTHWHILE ART, constituting the handiwork of nearly 600 painters, sculptors, photographers, video artists and practitioners in a further range of media that defies description. The show in question is “Through the Rabbit Hole : Life on Mars,” at Richard Timperio’s Sideshow in Billyburg, (more…)