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."

AB-EX AT THE R.A.

October 15, 2016

Tags: David Smith

David Smith Courtyard at the Royal Academy. Photo © David Parry, Royal Academy of Arts
David Evison, the British sculptor, has attended “Abstract Expressionism," the mammoth exhibition focusing primarily on the first generation of American abstract expressionists, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was curated by David Anfam, independent scholar, and Edith Devaney, of the R.A., and will be on through January 2, 2017. Evison attended with Jennifer Durrant, the British painter who is an RA herself, so they were able to get into the show before the general public. Here is his somewhat staccato, breathless report, with only minor emendations by myself--PH. (more…)

A MAJOR WAVE, BACK WHEN....

August 12, 2014

Tags: Edward Avedisian, Paul Feeley, Helen Frankenthaler, David Smith

Edward Avedisian, Normal Love #1, 1963. Liquitex on canvas, 67 1/4 x 67 1/2 inches. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.
There was a time when the Manhattan art world was much smaller, and one movement could sweep across a large segment of it (though never commanding its entirety).

An example of this was the switch from painterly abstract expressionism to what Clement Greenberg called “post-painterly abstraction.” Though it received only a fraction of the publicity accorded pop, it was the guiding principle in (more…)

CATCHING UP

February 8, 2014

Tags: David Smith, Hofmann, Larry Poons, Ed Clark

Ed Clark, "Untitled," 2004. Acrylic on canvas, 77 x 51 1/4 inches. EC 110. Photo Courtesy the Artist and Tilton Gallery, NY.
Having been busy with domestic activities, I’ve let 4 worthy shows go until they were over, or nearly over. Now I must catch up. The 4 I’ll discuss are “David Smith: The Forgings” at Gagosian (Madison Avenue) (closed January 11); “Hans Hofmann” at Ameringer McEnery Yohe (closed January 25); “Larry Poons: New Paintings” at Danese Corey (closing February 8) and “Ed Clark: Big Bang” at Jack Tilton, now at 8 East 76th Street (through February 22). (more…)

FRIDAY AT THE WHITNEY W. THEODOROS

August 24, 2012

Tags: Yayoi Kusama, Sharon Hayes, Stamos, Baziotes, Gottlieb, David Smith, Rothko, Motherwell, Lee Krasner

Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997). Ancestral Worship, 1947. 48.9 (c) Estate of Theodoros Stamos.
A reproduction of “The Beach” (1955), by William Baziotes, one of the original but lesser-known first generation abstract expressionists, accompanied a review in the July 27 NY Times by Ken Johnson of “Signs & Symbols” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Though the review didn’t send me up the wall with delight, it made me want (more…)

CUTTING DOWN A GIANT

October 11, 2011

Tags: David Smith

David Smith (1906-1965). 17 h's. 1950. Painted steel. 44 1/2 x 29 x 12 1/2 in. (113 x 73.7 x 31.8 cm). The Estate of David Smith (c)The Estate of David Smith/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo courtesy of the Estate of David Smith, photo by David Heald.
“Procrustean” is the word that came away with me from seeing “David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through January 8). For the benefit of those without a classical education, Procrustes was a nasty old guy in Greek mythology who kept a hostel of some sort by the wayside and (more…)