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."


January 24, 2016

Tags: Picasso

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Chair. Cannes, 1961. Painted sheet metal, 45 1/2 × 45 1/16 × 35 1/16 in. (115.5 × 114.5 × 89 cm). Musée national Picasso–Paris © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
“As Gertrude Stein might say, and perhaps she has, for today one picks things out of the air and she may though I cannot say she has or has not: Now we have Picasso and now that we have Picasso what are we going to do about Picasso now we have him?” (more…)


December 22, 2014

Tags: Braque, Gris, Léger, Picasso

Georges Braque, Mandolin and Fruit Dish. Paris, early 1909. Oil on canvas, 15 1/8 × 18 1/8 in. / 38.4 × 46 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Promised Gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Not even The Metropolitan Museum of Art has within my memory received a gift as generous as the promised gift that is presently displayed there as “Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection” (through February 16, 2015). And it’s not just the size of the gift that makes it so generous, although it's a whale of a lot of art. (more…)


November 12, 2012

Tags: Thomas Cole, Picasso

Pablo Picasso. Head of a Woman: Right Profile (Marie-Thérèse) Tête de femme. profil droit [Marie-Thérèse}. Boisgeloup, July 19, 1934. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 64.8 x 49.5 cm. Collection of Aaron I. Fleischman. (c) 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York. Photo: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
As the fourth (& last) installment of my social notes from all over, I give you the two last media previews that I attended during that first star-studded week in October.


As I said before, I didn’t know about the media preview for “WWII & NYC” at The New York Historical Society (more…)


September 1, 2012

Tags: Andy Warhol, Bernini, George Bellows, Matisse, Picasso, Alina Szap0cznikow, Sandi Slone, Carolanna Parlato, George Hofmann

Detail of "Kalila and Dimna," in Arabic. Syria? 1354. Bodleian Librarires. University of Oxford, MS. Pococke 400, fol. 75b.

In June, I was up in Connecticut, and had a delicious scone with Stacie Weiner, friend & subscriber to the print edition of FMD. She asked what big shows would be coming to New York in the autumn, so here is the beginning of a list. It’s primarily of museums, as they announce their plans earlier and in more detail, but at the end are four galleries (more…)


March 26, 2012

Tags: Matisse, Picasso

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Landscape near Collioure. 1905. Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 21 5/8 in. (46 x 54.9 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, gift of Johannes Rump, 1928. (c) 2012 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The best museum show in town at the moment is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it’s packing in the crowds. It’s “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde,” and pays homage to four American siblings whose family fortunes were based in San Francisco, but who took up residence in Paris (more…)


February 28, 2012

Tags: Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). Man with Crossed Arms, ca. 1899, oil on canvas.

The kindest way to deal with politics in relation to the Neue Galerie is to think in terms of art-world politics, not the national (or international) kind. This became clear to me while viewing “The Ronald S. Lauder Collection: Selections from the 3rd Century BC to the 20th Century/Germany, Austria and France” at (more…)


November 4, 2011

Tags: Picasso

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Bust of a Woman, Paris, spring 1909. Gouache on paper, 25 x 19 inches. Private Collection (c)2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
I urge you to run and see a practically perfect show: “Picasso’s Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition,” at The Frick Collection (through January 8; then at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, February 5 through May 6). This show, of more than sixty drawings (in pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, pastel and chalk) (more…)


June 11, 2011

Tags: Oliver Johnson, Picasso, Louis I. Kahn

“To see the world through rose-colored glasses” doesn’t necessarily have to do with spectrums or palettes. Rather, it suggests a desire to look upon the bright side, and 3 current shows typify this outlook, in different ways.

At Peg Alston Fine Arts, we have “Oliver Johnson: Jazz Series, Paintings & Drawings” (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 21, 2010

Tags: Michael Filan, Picasso, Durer, Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, Matisse

The press release for “Excavations Non-Objective: Paintings by Michael Filan” was a real turnoff, illustrated as it was with reproductions of two of the sloppiest paintings I’ve seen. They looked as though the artist had simply hung his canvases on a wall, and slung paint at them, allowing it to (more…)


June 28, 2010

Tags: Oliver Johnson, Pheoris West, Richard Yarde, Fred Danziger, Picasso, Fairfield Porter, William Zorach, Marguerite Zorach, Lennart Anderson, Leland Bell, Louisa Matthiasdottir, Temma Bell, Rosemarie Beck, Philip Guston, Ed Rath, Kenneth Noland, Roy Lerner, Peter Reginato, Francine Tint, Arthur Yanoff, Jules Olitski, Matisse

On two steamy days last week, I visited five galleries, all with reasons to recommend them. First was “Images of Dance: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Evidence Dance Company” at Peg Alston Fine Arts (through July 15). Founded in 1985 by Ronald K. Brown, (more…)