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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 2-4 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."

 

BLOSSOMING (PART ONE)

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.  Read More 
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AN INTERLUDE WITH SOME CATALOGS

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.  Read More 
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FABULOUS 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.  Read More 
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ALONG THE ABSTRACT TRAIL IN MANHATTAN

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 Read More 
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REMEMBERING HELEN

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. Read More 
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FIVE STARS IN THE GALLERIES

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 Read More 
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CATCHING UP:POLITICS & ART

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  Read More 
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A VALENTINE BOUQUET


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  Read More 

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Report from Berlin

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, Read More 
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TWO FOR THE SEESAW

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,  Read More 
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