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."


December 6, 2015

Tags: Motherwell, Jules Olitski, Sara Genn, Joshua Avery Webster, Larry Zox, Thordis Adalsteinsdottir

Robert Motherwell: Elegy to the Spanish Republic at Dominique Lévy, New York (November 4, 2015 – January 9, 2016). Photo by Tom Powel Imaging. Courtesy of Dominique Lévy, New York/London
Rejoicing last week in the emptiness in New York galleries with nearly everybody at Miami Basel, and working my way downtown, I saw four exhibitions that I can heartily recommend for your solstice holiday pleasure: 1) Motherwell at Dominique Lévy; 2) Jules Olitski at Leslie Feely; 3) Sara Genn & Joshua Avery Webster at Voltz Clarke; and 4) Larry Zox & Thordis Adalsteinsdottir at 57 Stux + Haller. (more…)


September 24, 2014

Tags: Motherwell

Robert Motherwell. The Voyage, 1949. Oil and tempera on paper mounted on composition board. 48 x 94 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1955.
Only last autumn, when I was reviewing the exhibition of collages from the 1940s by Robert Motherwell at the Guggenheim, I was wishing the show also included his paintings from the same period. Now I have gotten my wish, in an intriguing and inspiring show at The Guild Hall in (more…)


December 21, 2013

Tags: Motherwell

Robert Motherwell. Personage (Autoportrait), December 9, 1943. Gouache, ink, and pasted colored paper and Japanese paper on paperboard, 103.8 x 65.9 cm. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553.155. (c) Dedalus Foundation, Inc./ Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Sergio Martucci (c) 2013 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York
Also for your holiday pleasure, a sterling show that I can especially recommend for modernists (though postmodernists seem to like it, too) is “Robert Motherwell: Early Collages” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (through January 5). On view here are approximately 50 artworks done between 1941 and 1951; most are collages, although a selection of related drawings and other works paper are also on view. (more…)


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…)


May 28, 2012

Tags: Motherwell, Ed Cohen, William Tillyer, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Robert Goodnough, James Little, Jill Nathanson, de Kooning, Esteban Vicente

"Nostalgia (For a While It Was Good to Have Been the Word 'Man')". Poem by Peter Viereck. Etchings by Esteban Vicente. Courtesy Woodward Gallery.
Over the winter, I also got around to a handful of gallery shows that I'd been notified about, and found something -- though not necessarily an awful lot ---to recommend them. One was the relatively new gallery of Bernard Jacobson, the Brit who also has a London gallery. So far, its New York outpost has concerned itself largely with British artists who don’t do an awful lot for me, but this winter’s group show, “Discursive Abstraction” (closed February 25) had several pieces which, (more…)


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…)

Politics; Fascist Art; Ab Ex at MoMA

October 21, 2010

Tags: Picasso, Maillol, de Chirico, Adolf Ziegler, Pollock, Newman, Motherwell, Gottlieb

FIRST, THE BAD NEWS..... At the moment, I am finding it hard to buckle down and deal with October’s art news. That is because I am distracted by the horrible political setback that I fully expect the nation to receive in the November midterm elections. All the odds-makers are betting that the Republicans (more…)


July 2, 2010

Tags: Percival Goodman, Motherwell, Gottlieb, Ferber

The Jewish Museum has two appealing summer shows, one for grownups and one for the kiddies. (more…)