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."

MAX HOLLEIN & THOMAS COLE AT THE MET: COMMENT & REALITY

April 25, 2018

Tags: Thomas Cole, Turner, Constable

Thomas Cole (American [born England], Lancashire 1801–1848 Catskill, New York). The Course of the Empire: The Consummation of Empire, 1835–36. Oil on canvas, 51 1/4 x 76 in. (130.2 x 193 cm). New-York Historical Society, Gift of The New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts (1858.3). Digital image created by Oppenheimer Editions.
There’s no doubt that the New York Times devotes generous attention to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But this can lead to some very bum steers. Not only was I dismayed by the paper’s recent article on Max Hollein, the museum’s new director, but its review of the museum’s highly sophisticated and thoroughly delightful exhibition of “Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings” actually discouraged me from attending it until far too late in its run. Hence I can only belatedly encourage my readers to beat feet to this show before it closes on May 13 (or see it at the National Gallery in London, where it will appear from June 11 to October 7). (more…)

EARLY & LATE AVERY AT YARES ART

April 19, 2018

Tags: Milton Avery

Milton Avery (1885-1965), "Untitled (Wild Purple Mountain) / Untitled (Valley Floor), c. 1930s. Double-sided gouache on black paper, 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61cm). (Inv# 3104). Courtesy Yares Art.
For I don’t know how long, I have been aware of the big, spacious landscapes and seascapes of the later 1950s and early 1960s by Milton Avery (1885-1965), but it seems like forever. And I have to confess it has taken me a very long time to warm up to them. However, I have exceedingly warm feelings toward the current show at Yares Art, which is entitled "Milton Avery: Early Works on Paper + Late Paintings" (extended through May 5). (more…)

“ZURBURÁN’S JACOB AND HIS TWELVE SONS” AT THE FRICK COLLECTION

April 14, 2018

Tags: Zurburán

Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664), "Judah," ca. 1640–45. Oil on canvas , 79 1/4 x 40 3/4 inches (201.3 x 103.5 cm). © The Auckland Project/Zurbarán Trust. Photo credit: Robert LaPrelle.
As my first entry in the museum category in some time, I can recommend “Zurburán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons” at The Frick Collection (through April 22). This stately group of thirteen paintings, each measuring nearly 7 feet high and about 3½ feet wide, graces the East Gallery of the Frick, on the ground floor, and offers a telling contribution to the lore surrounding Francisco de Zurburán (1568-1664). (more…)

DIONYSIAN DZUBAS AT LORETTA HOWARD

April 11, 2018

Tags: Friedel Dzubas

FRIEDEL DZUBAS, "Northdrift", 1959. Oil on canvas, 19 x 38 inches. 'Friedel Dzubas' (lower left); signed, titled and inscribed 'DZUBAS /"NORTHDRIFT." Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery.
The current show at Loretta Howard is “Friedel Dzubas: Gestural Abstraction” (through April 21). It reminds me of an important article written by Clement Greenberg in 1947. Called “The Present Prospects of American Painting and Sculpture,” this article appeared in the British magazine Horizon. (more…)

“UNLOCKING THE GRID” AT BOOKSTEIN PROJECTS

April 5, 2018

Tags: Gottlieb, Joaquín Torres García

Adolph Gottlieb, Nostalgia for Atlantis, 1944. Oil and tempera on canvas, 20 x 25 inches. Image courtesy of Bookstein Projects, New York.
Lori Bookstein started out in the gallery business in 1997, with an Upper East Side space on 78th Street, which she opened with the still-memorable show of “Pat Lipsky’s Black Paintings.” Since then, the gallery has moved to West 57th Street and then again to Chelsea. There it shut up shop in the fall of 2016. But it seems you can’t keep a good woman down, so now Bookstein has returned to her roots, and opened up Bookstein Projects at 60 East 66th Street. At present her exhibition is a little jewel of a group show entitled “Unlocking the Grid” (through April 14). (more…)