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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."

 

"EPIC ABSTRACTION" AT THE MET: FROM A BANG TO A WHIMPER

Carmen Herrera (Cuban, born 1915). Equilibrio, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 48 × 60 in. (121.9 × 152.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Promised Gift of Estrellita and Daniel Brodsky, © Carmen Herrera

 

 

"Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera" opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art  on December 17, 2018, but is "ongoing."  By this the Met means that it isn't one of its usually admirable big loan shows but only a  rehanging on those galleries that the museum previously devoted to its permanent collection of first- and second-generation abstract expressionists.  Read More 

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THOSE BOOK EXHIBITS AT CAA

Jacket, Darby English, "1971: A Year in the Life of Color" (University of Chicago Press)

 

I couldn't face all those talks at the annual conference of the College Art Association this year, but as the conference was held in Manhattan, I did mosey on down to the New York Hilton to enjoy the Smithsonian's reception for its alumni and to look at the CAA's book exhibits.   As with the art world as a whole, postmodernism and identity politics for the most part upstaged esthetics, both in the choice of subjects for books and in the way that these subjects were dealt with, but still I found a handful of tomes that interested me and that I would have bought had I a) the money b) the space to put them in and c) the time to do them justice by reading them carefully and all the way through. Read More 

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FRIDAY AT THE WHITNEY W. THEODOROS

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  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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BREAKING NEWS! WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM! PAGE ONE HEADLINE!

The Museum of Modern Art has finally found a show that is both drawing mobs and landing it on Page One of the New York Times. Who among our edgy younger curators could ask for anything more? This show demands nothing but prurient curiosity from viewers, plus the willingness to pretend that this is a serious, highbrow presentation instead of a peep show for people who like to say they went to a museum but don’t really like painting or sculpture.  Read More 
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