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."

A TALE OF TWO BOROUGHS

May 25, 2017

Tags: Dana Gordon, William Gropper, Fran Kornfeld, Willard Boepple, Eleanor Steidadler, Hoffman, Miró

Joan Miró, "Femmes au bord du lac à la surface irisée par le passage d’un cygne (Women at the Edge of the Lake Made Iridescent by the Passage of a Swan)," Palma de Mallorca, May 14, 1941. Gouache and oil wash on paper, 18 1/8 x 15 inches (46 x 38 cm). Private Collection. © 2017 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
I suffer from anti-snob snobbery. I fight it as some shows & venues have good art despite being chic. Brooklyn additionally irks me because our mayor, Bill de Blasio, boasts of being a Brooklynite and wouldn’t move into Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s elegant official residence in Manhattan, for donkey’s years. Here, however, I will report on five Brooklyn shows and two in Manhattan. What do they prove? We shall see. (more…)

CONTEXT RUN WILD FOR SEURAT AT THE MET

May 18, 2017

Tags: Seurat

Georges Seurat (French, Paris 1859-1891 Paris). Trombonist. 1887–88. Conté crayon with white chalk on paper, 12 1/4 x 9 3/8 in. (31.1 x 23.8 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Henry P. McIlhenny Collection in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, 1986.
Hercules Segers had nothing on Georges Seurat (1859-1891) when it comes to the magic of mystery, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the darkling splendor of his great painting, “La Parade” (1888), centerpiece of an absorbing and often enjoyable, but sometimes infuriating exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art called “Seurat’s Circus Sideshow” (through May 29). (more…)

THREE WITH BRIO

May 13, 2017

Tags: Catherine Perehudoff, Friedel Dzubas, Larry Zox

Larry Zox (1937-2006), Cordova Diamond Drill, 1967. Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 48 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
There are so many lively shows around that some go by even before I can write about them—case in point being ”Catherine Perehudoff: Paintings” at Artifact (closed April 23). But a couple of other goodies remain open for your viewing pleasure: “Friedel Dzubas: Sketches” at Leslie Feely Fine Art (through June 30) and “Larry Zox” at Berry Campbell (through May 26). (more…)

JAWLENSKY AT THE NEUE: RUSSIAN EXPRESSIONISM

May 11, 2017

Tags: Jawlensky

Alexei Jawlensky, Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips), 1913. Oil on board. Centre Pompidou. Musée National d'Art Moderne / Centre de création industrielle, Donation de M. Robert Haas en 1982. © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY.
Fortunately, there is nothing dim or subtle about the best work of the Russian-born German Expressionist “Alexei Jawlensky,” whose most entertaining retrospective of some 75 paintings is currently gracing the Neue Galerie (through May 29). His boldly simplified and vigorously-colored style made him a worthy friend of -- and rival to -- Wassily Kandinsky in the early years of the 20th century, though even before the onset of World War I, they had begun to go their separate ways. (more…)

VIVE LA FRANCE!

May 8, 2017

British and American voters, please note & copy...
That's about as much as I want to say about politics this week.

HERCULES SEGHERS: BAROQUE SURREALIST AT THE MET

May 3, 2017

Tags: Hercules Segers

Hercules Segers, Dutch, ca. 1590–ca. 1638. The Two Trees (An Alder and an Ash), Ca. 1625-30. Print: Lift-ground etching printed in green, on a light pink ground, colored with brush; unique impression. Sheet: 6 1/8 × 6 3/4 in. (15.5 × 17.2 cm). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; on loan from the City of Amsterdam, collection Michiel Hinloopen (1619–1708), 1885 (inv. no. RP-P-H-OB-848). Cat. HB 33
Somehow (even before I got to this exhibition) I knew that “The Mysterious Landscapes of Hercules Segers,” on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (through May 21), would feature work that had been prized by the surrealists in the years between the two world wars, and by Max Ernst in particular (himself no mean creator of mysterious landscapes). (more…)