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."

MOST FAMOUS ABSTRACTIONIST: STELLA AT THE WHITNEY

January 17, 2016

Tags: Frank Stella

Frank Stella, Plant City, 1963. Zinc chromate on canvas. 102 1/2 x 102 1/2 in. (260.4 x 260.4 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art; gift of Agnes Gund in memory of Anne d’Harnoncourt, 2008. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Arguably, Frank Stella is the most famous & successful abstract artist to emerge in the widespread reaction against abstract expressionism that began in the summer of 1950 (months after “ab-ex” itself had become the reigning avant-garde). In my book, neither “famous” nor "successful” automatically equates to “best,” but these two adjectives qualified Stella to become the subject of the first (more…)

ALONG THE ABSTRACT TRAIL IN MANHATTAN

November 18, 2012

Tags: Peter Halley, John Zinsser, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, Hofmann, Ronnie Landfield

Ronnie Landfield. Bluebird, 2ooo. Acrylic on canvas, 89 x 76 in. Photo courtesy the artist.
Despite the depredations of Hurricane Sandy, a number of abstract shows have been rearing their curly heads this fall. The biggest and most prestigious (at least, until MoMA opens its big historical “Inventing Abstraction” in December) was “Conceptual Abstraction” at Hunter College’s huge but curiously arid West 41st Street Times Square Gallery (more…)

STELLA AT FREEDMANART

August 29, 2012

Tags: Frank Stella

Frank Stella. k43 (ABS Black), 2012. Mixed media. 82 x 68 x 43 inches. (c)2012 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Freedman Art.
I have already expounded at some length for artcritical.com on “Frank Stella: New Work” at Freedman Art (through September 27). Here I shall summarize what I said there, and then go on to a bit of reminiscence. The bottom line here is that I liked the best work in this show (more…)