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."

EYE-CATCHING NEW SHOW PLACE: YARES ART ARRIVES

November 19, 2016

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Jules Olitski

Larry Poons, English Fields, 1968. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 87 inches. Courtesy Yares Art
I’ve long admired the booths of Yares Art Projects of Santa Fe at The Art Show in the Park Avenue Armory, so when I received the announcement for a new gallery entitled Yares Art at 745 Fifth Avenue I beat feet to get there on opening night. The inaugural show was elegantly installed in a spacious portion of the former quarters of McKee, and titled “Helen Frankenthaler + L, M, N, O, P—Louis, Motherwell, Noland, Olitski, Poons.” Its emphasis is on color-field paintings from the 1950s and the 1960s, though with some later work, and on the whole, it is a knockout (through January 15). (more…)

SOCIAL (& ESTHETIC) NOTES FROM ALL OVER

October 26, 2016

Tags: Darby Bannard, Friedel Dzubas, Kenworth Moffett, David Crum, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Kim Uchiyama, Gerald Jackson

Gerald Jackson, A Blue and Green Painting, 2015. Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 30 by 24 each. Photo courtesy of Kim Uchiyama.
This has been a more than ordinarily social autumn season for me. True, two of the six occasions that I’ll be covering in this post were tinged with melancholy, but all were reminders that art – and life itself – go on.

First, on October 13, I attended the opening of “Walter Darby Bannard: Recent Paintings” (more…)

TWO UNFORGETTABLES

October 12, 2014

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis

Morris Louis, Tet, 1958. Acrylic resin (Magna) on canvas, 94 1/8 x 152 1/8 in. (239.1 x 386.4 cm.) Collection Whitney Museum, New York, NY, courtesy Mnuchin Gallery. Digital image (c) Whitney Museum of Art, NY (c) 2014 Maryland College Institute of Art (MICA). Rights administered by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, All Rights Reserved
Two unforgettables are currently in their last week of exposure on the Upper East Side, Helen Frankenthaler at Gagosian & Morris Louis at Mnuchin. If you haven't already seen these splendid shows, make a point of getting there--this is painting as painting should be (and so rarely is).

Peter Schjeldahl, in the New Yorker, was (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…)

BLOSSOMING (PART ONE)

April 1, 2014

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler, Dan Christensen, Kenneth Noland

Dan Christensen (1942-2007). "O," 1968. Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 144 inches. Photo courtesy Spanierman Modern.
Spring may be late this year, but indoors in Manhattan, modernism is blossoming. Besides the recent shows of Poons and Bannard, we now have those of Helen Frankenthaler, Dan Christensen, & Kenneth Noland. The show of Jules Olitski at Paul Kasmin piggy-backs on another Kasmin show, so I’ll discuss it in a separate posting. (more…)

AN INTERLUDE WITH SOME CATALOGS

January 19, 2014

Tags: Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Kline, Jens Jensen, David Evison, John Griefen

Franz Kline. "Ninth Avenue Elevated RR Station at Christopher Street," 1940-41. Oil on board, 16 x 22 inches. Private Collection. (c) 2012 The Franz Kline Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Not infrequently exhibition catalogs come my way. Here are four that I found of more than ordinary interest. The first three are of single artists: Noland, Frankenthaler & Kline. The third is a group show: Jens Jensen, David Evison, & John Griefen. The first three are of interest to me because of their attempts to find imagery in abstraction; the fourth is simply a handsome tribute of its own. (more…)

FABULOUS FRANKENTHALER

June 7, 2013

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler. Eden. 1956. Oil on unsized, unprimed canvas. 103 x 117 inches (261.6 x 297.2 cm). (c) 2013 Estate of Helen Frankenthaler/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

“Painted on 21st Street: Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959,” as curated by John Elderfield for Gagosian (closed April 13) was the largest, most ambitious and greatest gallery show of this season. Indeed, I cannot think of another in recent seasons to equal it. In a word, I loved it. (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…)

REMEMBERING HELEN

January 1, 2012

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler

As most of the world knows by now, Helen Frankenthaler died on December 27. I will miss her, and I'm sure many others will, too. David Cohen has been kind enough to publish my formal tribute to her in his webzine, artcritical.com A few more informal & personal reminiscences follow below. (more…)

FIVE STARS IN THE GALLERIES

December 1, 2011

Tags: Braque, Matisse, Newman, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler

Georges Braque. Céret, Rooftops. 1911. Oil on canvas, 34 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches (88.5 x 65 cm). Private Collection. (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
If you can deal with the rarefied air north of 34th Street, four galleries on the Upper East Side have five big stars in good to great shows. Or at least in one case, had not have: I greatly regret not having gotten to “Georges Braque: Pioneer of Modernism,” curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart (more…)

CATCHING UP:POLITICS & ART

March 18, 2011

Tags: Edward Avedisian, Randy Bloom, David Crum, Clark Murray, William Tillyer, Jason Martin, Helen Frankenthaler, Motherwell

Since I last posted an entry in this column, a lot has been going on, both on the national scene, in the international sphere, and (for that matter) a certain amount in the world of art. But I too have also been awfully busy (more…)

A VALENTINE BOUQUET

February 14, 2011

Tags: Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand, Roman mosaic, Helen Frankenthaler


THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Isn't staging any major exhibitions in its principal special exhibitions areas at the moment. This makes for a pleasantly uncrowded museum. Readers who still enjoy contemplating the permanent collection and/or lunching with a friend in its spacious cafeteria can also take pleasure in two smaller shows (more…)

Report from Berlin

December 29, 2010

Tags: Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Rothko, Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaler

David Evison sends this report on the current show at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin(through January 10). It includes 14 paintings by 13 artists, drawn almost entirely from the permanent collection of the New York Guggenheim:

"The 'Color Fields' show at Deutsche Guggenheim is a breath of fresh air for Berlin, (more…)

TWO FOR THE SEESAW

June 26, 2010

Tags: Helen Frankenthaler, Stamos, Greenberg

Given her present eminence, it’s easy to forget that Helen Frankenthaler was only 23 in 1952 when she painted that landmark picture, "Mountain and Sea." At the time, she was still within the orbit of Clement Greenberg. Yet within three years, (more…)

History's Mysteries & Contemporary Soupçons

May 30, 2010

Tags: Monet, Peter Reginato, Dee Shapiro, Anne Truitt, Robert and Ethel Scull, Jasper Johns, Greenberg, Larry Poons, Sheila Luck, Mitchel Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, Craig Barnes, George Hofmann, Michael L. Williams, Franklin Einspruch

Down in the bowels of West 21st Street, Larry Gagosian, who is to Chelsea what P. T. Barnum was to circuses, has mounted what he obviously hopes will be the same kind of historical blockbuster that his big late Picasso show was last season. “Claude Monet: Late Work,” curated by Paul Hayes Tucker, (more…)