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."

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: THESIS

July 10, 2018

Tags: Gene Davis, Hans Hofmann, Darby Bannard, Cleve Gray, Wolf Kahn, Vaclav Vytlacil

Gene Davis (American, 1920-1985) . Trafalgar, 1984 acrylic on canvas 95 1/2 x 119 3/4 in.
I have now seen the exhibition of which Gene Davis's "Trafalgar" is a part. The show, at Cavalier, is entitled "57th Street: America's Artistic Legacy --Part I" (extended through July 27). It is housed both in the temporary ground floor space and in the permanent 4th Floor gallery next door, and the whole is so much more brilliantly organized that the difference between it and the last time I reported on Cavalier as is the day from the night.

It is not that we have any stop-the-presses masterpieces, but on the other hand a large majority of what we have looks very and sometimes spectacularly good. At the same time, it is all strangely different from the classical exhibitions of Greenbergiana that we were all brought up to know & love.

Some of the artists' names are familiar and some are not so but one thing I can say is that anybody in town who cares about good painting should beat feet to this show. It is truly tragic that it should have been staged in the doldrums of summertime, when practically the entire community that stands for visual literacy should be vegging out in remote climes & places.

At a later date, I expect to be going around this remarkable exhibition in more detail. However at this point it is past my bedtime in the evening of July 21 so I shall stop for now.