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."

NEXT, TO THE CLARK

March 19, 2016

Tags: Piero della Francesca, Pissarro, Constable, Fragonard, Renoir

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
I’ve long heard how admirable is the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Its many admirers rave about the impressionists in its permanent collection, but I have also heard much praise for those special exhibitions held in summer. (more…)

THE BARNES FOUNDATION, PART 1: THE PUBLIC RECORD

July 12, 2012

Tags: Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse

Room 18, east wall, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. (c)2012 The Barnes Foundation.

“The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention” is the title of one of my favorite short stories, by Dorothy L. Sayers, but it might just as well be the title of the tumultuous history of the Barnes Foundation, which this spring opened its doors to visitors at its new home in center city Philadelphia. That history begins (more…)

THE BARNES FOUNDATION, PART 2: THE PERSONAL IMPRESSION

July 12, 2012

Tags: Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir

View from 21st Street. The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. (March 2012). (c) Tom Crane 2012.


I blush to admit that I never responded to the mystique of the old Barnes Foundation in Merion, not at least in the way its most fervent partisans did, though naturally I greatly admired the many virtues of its memorable collection. Maybe that's because I share what Greenberg called (more…)

Grinch-time #2

May 10, 2012

Tags: Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). La Promenade, 1875-76. Oil on canvas, 67 x 42 5/8 inches. The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb
Here is my second candidate for an overrated show. Which is not to say that a lot of it wasn't very fine. Just not all of it, and specifically not the part that everybody else elected to rave about.

The show I am talking about is “Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting,” at The Frick Collection (more…)