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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."

 

THE ART FAIRS OF (MOSTLY) EARLY MARCH, AND DARBY BANNARD'S BRILLIANT INSIGHT

Willem de Kooning. Untitled (Still Life with Eggs and Potato Masher), 1928-1929. Oil and sand on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. (c) Estate of Willem de Kooning, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York.
Following CAA, the next avalanche of art-world “news” to descend onto Manhattan was the art fairs that took place between March 4 & 8. The two original and most conspicuous were The Armory Show, on Piers 92 & 94 in the Hudson River, and The Art Show, at the Park Avenue Armory, but there were about ten others.

Together, these dozen offered more than 700 booths—of dealers from all over the world, plus  Read More 
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FILLING IN SOME BLANKS

"Nostalgia (For a While It Was Good to Have Been the Word 'Man')". Poem by Peter Viereck. Etchings by Esteban Vicente. Courtesy Woodward Gallery.
Over the winter, I also got around to a handful of gallery shows that I'd been notified about, and found something -- though not necessarily an awful lot ---to recommend them. One was the relatively new gallery of Bernard Jacobson, the Brit who also has a London gallery. So far, its New York outpost has concerned itself largely with British artists who don’t do an awful lot for me, but this winter’s group show, “Discursive Abstraction” (closed February 25) had several pieces which,  Read More 
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THE POPULARITY KID AT MOMA

Willem de Kooning (American, born The Netherlands, 1904-1997). Painting. Enamel and oil on canvas. 42 5/8 x 56 1/8" (108.3 x 142.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase, 1948. (c)2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
I don’t know what it is, but the reverential tone of the reviews greeting “de Kooning: A Retrospective” at the Museum of Modern Art may be what brings out the iconoclast in me. This mammoth exhibition, curated by John Elderfield, assembles nearly 200 paintings, drawings & sculptures from museums  Read More 
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