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."

VAN DYCK AT THE FRICK: MASTER PORTRAITIST

May 22, 2016

Tags: Van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641). Charles I and Henrietta Maria Holding a Laurel Wreath, 1632. Oil on canvas. Arcibiskupský zámek a zahrady v Kroměříži, Kroměříž.
At The Frick Collection, though you may have to hustle before it closes, is “Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture” (through June 5). For those with eyes unblinkered by Duchampianism, this 17th century maestro offers a thoroughly admirable object lesson in how to please one’s contemporaries while also pleasuring generations to come. (more…)

THE MET AND THE MEDIA

May 17, 2016

Tags: Nasreen Mohamedi, Titian

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), (Italian, ca. 1485/90?–1576), The Flaying of Marsyas, probably 1570s. Oil on canvas, 86 5⁄8 × 80 1⁄4 in. (220 × 204 cm). Archdiocese Olomouc, Archiepiscopal Palace, Picture Gallery, Kromĕříž.
On May 22, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made Page One of the New York Times, contrasted negatively with the Museum of Modern Art. To understand this placement, the truth of the story, and the extent to which it propagated the situation described, one must know something about how the Times treats art in general.

(more…)

POLITICS: THE OUTLOOK

May 2, 2016

Tags: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump

On April 19, I voted in the New York State primary. This, I learned four days later, was my one chance to materially affect the outcome of the 2106 race to the White House.

What happened four days later? Well, I attended a very interesting “Women in Media Conference” at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. (more…)