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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."

 

THREE PIERS INSTEAD OF TWO: THE 2019 ARMORY SHOW

Larry Poons, "Big Purple," 1972.  Acrylic on canvas, 98 x 92 inches (248.9 x 233.7 cm).  LP4777. Courtesy Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

 

 

It looked like curtains for the 2019 Armory Show. Just over a week before it was scheduled to open on Piers 92 and 94 on the Hudson River, a city inspection revealed that Pier 92 was too dilapidated to support the expected crowds, and it looked for a moment as though the whole show would have to be closed down.  However, the show's resourceful organizers managed to oust Volta, a rival art fair, from neighboring Pier 90, and so The Armory Show was able to open on time – with all the 60 booths originally intended for Pier 92 relocated to Pier 90.  The bulk of the show –135 booths – were as they had been in previous years – located on Pier 94. Pier 92 was consigned to a lounge and restaurant area – which presumably wouldn't overtax its weight-bearing potential. Read More 

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"THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING," OR, "DUMBO" V. DA VINCI

Larry Poons in "The Price of Everything"

One major topic of gossip these past few months in the little sub-community of the art world that I inhabit has been the 98-minute documentary entitled "The Price of Everything." The main reason we are interested is that for all practical purposes, its hero is our own Larry Poons, who has thus emerged at the unlikely age of 81 as a movie star. But the film has other attractions as well.

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AT YARES ART: LARRY POONS

Larry Poons (b. 1937). Rain of Terror, 1977. Acrylic on canvas, 111 1/2 x 108 inches (283.2 x 274.3cm). (Inv# 2953). Courtesy Yares Art.
At the tender age of 81, Larry Poons keeps on having so many shows that I have difficulty keeping up with him. But the last solo exhibition of his that I reviewed – exactly a year ago, and also at Yares Art– placed the emphasis on his recent paintings, and allotted only a smaller and less conspicuous space to the earlier ones. This time the shoe is on the other foot.
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AN AFTERNOON IN CHELSEA

Judith Godwin, Betrayal, 1976. Oil on canvas, 50 x 48 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell.
On a recent trip to Chelsea, I found one big show & two lesser shows that I’d recommend, in whole or at least in part. The lesser shows with some work I liked were “Etel Adnan, Ione Saldanha & Carolee Schneemann: Of the Self and of the Other,” at Galerie Lelong & Co, (closed August 3), and the “Summer Group Show” at Sundaram Tagore (through September 1). The big show where I liked practically everything I saw was "Summer Selections," at Berry Campbell (through August 17).  Read More 
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FIRST, THE BIRTHDAY BOY: POONS

Larry Poons (b. 1937). Dimension, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 64 x 114 inches. Courtesy Yares Art.
On October 1, Larry Poons will be celebrating his 80th birthday. It doesn’t seem possible somehow. When I saw him at the opening of “Larry Poons: Momentum” (through October 28) at Yares on Fifth Avenue, he looked just as wiry and energetic as ever.

His latest paintings, too, bespoke an-ever youthful enthusiasm, as well as his hallmark medley of bright, mellifluous colors in delicately brushy configurations suggestive of floral motifs (I’m not the first to be reminded by this latest style of his of the lily-pads of Monet).  Read More 
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DUBUFFET & POONS AT LORETTA HOWARD: A MATTER OF MATTER

"Jean Dubuffet & Larry Poons: Material Topographies" at Loretta Howard. Photo by John Small, courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery.
Two great exponents of what the French call “matter painting” are currently holding forth in Chelsea. The show is “Jean Dubuffet & Larry Poons: Material Topographies” and it’s at Loretta Howard (through February 18). This show is great fun. Read More 
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EYE-CATCHING NEW SHOW PLACE: YARES ART ARRIVES

Larry Poons, English Fields, 1968. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 87 inches. Courtesy Yares Art
I’ve long admired the booths of Yares Art Projects of Santa Fe at The Art Show in the Park Avenue Armory, so when I received the announcement for a new gallery entitled Yares Art at 745 Fifth Avenue I beat feet to get there on opening night. The inaugural show was elegantly installed in a spacious portion of the former quarters of McKee, and titled “Helen Frankenthaler + L, M, N, O, P—Louis, Motherwell, Noland, Olitski, Poons.” Its emphasis is on color-field paintings from the 1950s and the 1960s, though with some later work, and on the whole, it is a knockout (through January 15).  Read More 
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THE GRAVITY OF A VOLCANO: POONS AT LORETTA HOWARD

Larry Poons, Loose Change, 1977. Acrylic on canvas, 94 x 43 1/2 inches. Courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery.
Entering Loretta Howard just now is like walking into the middle of Niagara Falls, or being confronted by the descending lava of a volcano—all as frozen for eternity by a modernist photographer like Brassaï, whose studies of Picasso’s sculpture from the 1930s and 40s currently grace the Picasso sculpture show at MoMA. Read More 
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PROLIFIC POONS AT DANESE/COREY

Larry Poons. Angle of Landscape, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 64 5/8 x 97 3/4 inches. Courtesy Danese/Corey.
It is truly amazing, how fertile is the invention of Larry Poons, still going strong at 77. Even more amazing is how successful are so many of the works in “Larry Poons: New Paintings” at Danese/Corey (through May 29).

Abstract expressionism, Monet lily pads and steamy  Read More 
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CATCHING UP

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). Read More 
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