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."


May 25, 2017

Tags: Dana Gordon, William Gropper, Fran Kornfeld, Willard Boepple, Eleanor Steinadler, Hofmann, Miró

Joan Miró, "Femmes au bord du lac à la surface irisée par le passage d’un cygne (Women at the Edge of the Lake Made Iridescent by the Passage of a Swan)," Palma de Mallorca, May 14, 1941. Gouache and oil wash on paper, 18 1/8 x 15 inches (46 x 38 cm). Private Collection. © 2017 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
I suffer from anti-snob snobbery. I fight it as some shows & venues have good art despite being chic. Brooklyn additionally irks me because our mayor, Bill de Blasio, boasts of being a Brooklynite and wouldn’t move into Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s elegant official residence in Manhattan, for donkey’s years. Here, however, I will report on five Brooklyn shows and two in Manhattan. What do they prove? We shall see. (more…)


July 14, 2016

Tags: Hofmann, Bo Bartlett, Darby Bannard

Walter Darby Bannard, Green Grip #2, 1964-1965. Acrylic on canvas, 66 3/4 x 63 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
Ameringer McEnery Yohe has a small show of 30s and early 40s Hans Hofmann in its back gallery, and a large show of recent work by Bo Bartlett, a 60-year-old allegorical realist, in its front two galleries (both shows through August 12). Berry Campbell is devoting its entire exhibition space to “Summer Selections” (through July 22). All three exhibitions are not without interest—but if I am rushing into print with this review (only a day after my last post), it’s primarily to tell my readers about the Berry Campbell show before it closes. (more…)


November 14, 2014

Tags: Hofmann, Sholto Ainslie, Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). Midwest from America Today (1930–31), mural cycle consisting of ten panels. Egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood panels with a honeycomb interior. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012
I feel guilty at not getting to Chelsea more often, or wherever this new recrudescence of abstraction is supposedly taking place. Abstract artist-friends have been telling me how much more new abstract painting there is than there used to be, but I haven’t seen anything recently I could recommend.

Imagine my delight, then, (more…)


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…)


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…)


March 27, 2012

Tags: Hofmann

Hans Hofmann. Black Diamond. 1961. Oil on canvas, 60 x 52 inches (152.4 x 132 cm). Courtesy Ameringer-McEnery-Yohe.
Bursting with the tonic energy of spring, we have “Hans Hofmann: Art Like Life is Real,” at Ameringer-McEnery-Yohe in Chelsea (through April 21). Since 1983, I’ve seen many Hofmann shows at galleries representing his estate, this one & also its predecessor, André Emmerich. Rarely have these been more than low-key attempts to unload Hofmann’s semi-representational paintings of the 1930s, or minor works on paper, but this time -- hallelujah! --- we have a real live paintings show, occupying the main space of the gallery and not its little vermiform appendix gallery behind the receptionist’s desk. (more…)


October 8, 2011

Tags: Hofmann, Ray Oglesby, Robert Rauschenberg, Kenneth Noland, Sheying, Julia Margaret Cameron

Well, folks, you just missed a pleasant little exhibition of “Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper” at Ameringer McEnery Yohe (closed October 8). Although I saw it a week or so ago, I’ve been too busy with other duties to tell you about it. However, there was an excellent little catalogue (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…)


November 26, 2010

Tags: Francine Tint, Gregory Coates, Hofmann, Arthur Simms, E. Peter Schroeder, Stieglitz, Miró, Harry Houdini, Thomas Nozkowski, John Baldessari

A number of shows that I’ve seen in the past month merit attention, mostly because of their quality (though sometimes for other reasons).

At the top of this list is “Divine Influence: Past and Present” at Wilmer Jennings (through December 31). Billed as “contemporary abstract art and items from the Merton D. Simpson (more…)