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."

SUMMER AT THE STUDIO MUSEUM: RICHARD HUNT, ALMA THOMAS, JORDAN CASTEEL

August 26, 2016

Tags: Richard Hunt, Alma Thomas, Jordan Casteel

Installation view: Jordan Casteel at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo by Adam Reich.
I don’t why, but I seem to visit the Studio Museum in Harlem in summer more often than at any other season. Last year, it was the excellent show of Stanley Whitney that propelled me northwards. This year, it was Nadine Witkin, daughter of the illustrious Isaac Witkin, who reported on Facebook that (more…)

SUMMER ABSTRACTS: MO & POMO

August 18, 2016

Tags: Joyce Weinstein, Eva Lundsager

Joyce Weinstein, Winter Country Fields and Sky, 2015. Oil and mixed media on linen, 18 x 36 in. (45.7 x 91.4 cm). WEI-00010. Courtesy Berry Campbell, New York.
During the steam heat of a Manhattan August, not much goes on in the art world. But two abstract painters are keeping alive some longstanding contrasts between modernism and postmodernism, in “Joyce Weinstein: Recent Paintings” at Berry Campbell and “Eva Lundsager: Other Night Other Light” at Van Doren Waxter (both shows through August 26). (more…)

THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK: WATTEAU’S SOLDIERS AT THE FRICK

August 11, 2016

Tags: Watteau

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721). Three Views of a Soldier, One from Behind, ca. 1713–15. Red chalk, with black ink framing, 6 ¾ × 8 5/8 inches. Musée du Louvre, Paris (RF 51752). Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) is best known as the painter of mysterious theater folk and ethereal parables of silken dalliance called fêtes galantes. But this exquisite little exhibition of his work at The Frick Collection depicts more warlike subjects – and reveals the steel beneath his silk in more ways than one. (more…)

AN EARLY AMERICAN SWINGER: STUART DAVIS AT THE WHITNEY

August 3, 2016

Tags: Stuart Davis

Stuart Davis (1892-1964), Place Pasdeloup, 1928. Oil on canvas, 36 3/8 x 29 inches (92.4 x 73.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, 31.170 (c) Estate of Stuart Davis/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
I am probably the wrong person to review “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through September 25). To be sure, I’d agree with other critics that it’s a cheerful, brightly-colored exhibition of approximately 100 examples of this fine All-American artist’s mature late Synthetic Cubist style. (more…)