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."

SEASIDE SUBLIME: TURNER AT THE FRICK

April 27, 2017

Tags: Turner

J.M.W. Turner, Mont-St. Michel, Normandy, for The English Channel, ca. 1827. Watercolor on paper, 7 x 10 1/16 inches. The Hecksher Family Collection. Image, courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco: photo Randy Dodson.
As of this writing, my favorite spring museum show in Manhattan is “Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time” at The Frick Collection (through May 14). This is an exhibition of awesome art, masterfully installed and eloquently introduced at one of the Frick’s model media previews (complete with (more…)

JOY WITH LIPSKY AT GERALD PETERS

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…)

BEARDEN’S BAYOU AT DC MOORE

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…)

“WORLD WAR I AND AMERICAN ART” AT PAFA (AND ELSWHERE)

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…)