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."


April 19, 2017

Tags: Pat Lipsky

Pat Lipsky, Springs Fireplace, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 62 3/8 x 94 ½ inches. Courtesy Gerald Peters Gallery.
Picture this: a very young Pat Lipsky, only recently out of Hunter College’s MFA program, painting up a storm in an era when a youthful color-field painter with a clear, true color sense & a genuine pedigree in Frankenthaler & Noland could still turn out big, lush, truly lovely pictures, and win shows of them at a prestigious 57th Street gallery, plus a rave review in the New York Times! (more…)


April 14, 2017

Tags: Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden. Bayou Fever, The Conjur Woman, 1979. Collage and acrylic on fiberboard, 6 x 9 in. © Estate of Romare Bearden. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.
It’s been a while (like 50 years) since I published anything about Romare Bearden (1911-1988), and even longer since I attended a performance at an art gallery (like maybe never). Therefore, when I got an email from DC Moore, inviting me to the performance of a dance on March 24 (or 25), inspired by a series of 21 collages that the celebrated African-American artist had created in 1979, I decided to go for it, taking in both exhibition & dance together. The art show is “Romare Bearden: Bayou Fever and Related Works” (through April 29). The dance – and its inspiration, the 21 small- to medium-sized collages that constitute its “story-board” – are called, “Bayou Fever.” (more…)


April 6, 2017

Tags: John Singer Sargent, Boardman Robinson

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) Gassed, 1919 Oil on canvas, 90 ½ × 240 in. Fr.: 107 x 256 x 5 ½ in. Imperial War Museums, London, England
I feel horribly guilty about being so slow to review this winter’s mammoth, handsome, moving and now appallingly timely exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Entitled “World War I and American Art,” it opened at the beginning of November 2016, and I attended its media preview. In fact, I took so long examining it that I was the last critic to leave.

Now it will only be at PAFA (more…)