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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."

 

WALTER DARBY BANNARD (1934-2016): HE TOUCHED A LOT OF LIVES

Walter Darby Bannard, The Windwards (13-1B), 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 49 1/2 x 54 inches. Courtesy Berry Campbell
When word broke on Facebook on October 2 that Walter Darby Bannard had died, I received more than the ordinary number of worried or consolatory emails. This was proof, if I needed any, that he was widely known and loved, not only for his fine painting but also for his teaching, for his role as dauntless defender of modernism in print, and for simply being a very nice guy.  Read More 
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SOCIAL (& ESTHETIC) NOTES FROM ALL OVER

Gerald Jackson, A Blue and Green Painting, 2015. Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 30 by 24 each. Photo courtesy of Kim Uchiyama.
This has been a more than ordinarily social autumn season for me. True, two of the six occasions that I’ll be covering in this post were tinged with melancholy, but all were reminders that art – and life itself – go on.

First, on October 13, I attended the opening of “Walter Darby Bannard: Recent Paintings”  Read More 
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AB-EX AT THE R.A.

David Smith Courtyard at the Royal Academy. Photo © David Parry, Royal Academy of Arts
David Evison, the British sculptor, has attended “Abstract Expressionism," the mammoth exhibition focusing primarily on the first generation of American abstract expressionists, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was curated by David Anfam, independent scholar, and Edith Devaney, of the R.A., and will be on through January 2, 2017. Evison attended with Jennifer Durrant, the British painter who is an RA herself, so they were able to get into the show before the general public. Here is his somewhat staccato, breathless report, with only minor emendations by myself--PH. Read More 
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CELEBRATING SAITO

Kikuo Saito, Green Broom, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 80 1/2 x 51 3/4 inches.
This is not a good year for modernism. But life is short and art is long. Kikuo Saito, who died last February at 76, is being honored by two exhibitions. At Leslie Feely in Manhattan is “Kikuo Saito: “The Final Years” (through October 14) and at Sam & Adele Golden in New Berlin, NY is “Kikuo Saito: Color and Drawing” (through March 24, 2017). Read More 
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HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: POUSETTE-DART AT PACE

Richard Pousette-Dart, Yellow Amorphous, 1950. Oil on canvas 45-1/2" x 92" (115.6 cm x 233.7 cm). Photograph by Kerry Ryan McFate, Courtesy of Pace Gallery. © 2016 Estate of Richard Pousette–Dart / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Well, I thought I knew all about Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992). But it turns out that the only parts of his career that had stuck in my mind were its beginnings (in the early 1940s) and its long-lived end (onward from the 1960s). Thus “Richard Pousette-Dart: The Centennial” at Pace (its 57th Street space) came as a welcome surprise to me for its inclusion of several stimulating & unfamiliar paintings from the 1950s (through October 15).  Read More 
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COMING HOME TO ZAO

Zao Wou-Ki, Sans titre (Untitled), 1972 . India ink on paper, 26 3⁄16 × 47 1⁄16 in. (66.5 × 119.5 cm). Private collection, Switzerland. ©Zao Wou-Ki ProLitteris, Zurich. Photography by Antoine Mercier.
Somehow I feel like I’ve always known about Zao Wou-Ki. Perhaps that’s why it was such a pleasure to encounter (or re-encounter) his art in “No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki” at the Asia Society Museum in New York (through January 8) and thereafter at the Colby College Museum of Art in Maine (February 4 through June 4, 2017). Read More 
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COMING ATTRACTIONS (INSTALLMENT #3)

Thomas Eakins, Amelia Van Buren Sitting With Cat on Shoulder, 1891. Platinum print, 3 1/2 x 4 inches (8.89 x 10.16 cm), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1985.68.2.712.
Herewith my third and last installment of coming attractions for this fall. Like the others, it runs a gamut-- ranging from shows of modernists like Walter Darby Bannard to those of postmodernists like Pipilotti Rist to the "homemade architecture" of Beverly Buchanan to historical figures like sexy Guido Cagnacci of the baroque and Mexican modernism in its glory days of revolution.  Read More 
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COMING ATTRACTIONS (INSTALLMENT #2)

Michiel van Musscher (Dutch, 1645 - 1705), An Artist in His Studio with His Drawings, mid-1660s. Oil on panel, 47 × 36 cm (18 1/2 × 14 3/16 in.). Liechtenstein. The Princely Collections, Vaduz-Vienna.
Herewith Installment #2 of this season's coming attractions, ranging all the way from prewar Vienna to gay 20th-century New York, and with detours to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages to 6th century China. Enjoy! Read More 
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COMING ATTRACTIONS (INSTALLMENT #1)

Prudence (in situ), Andrea della Robbia (Italian (Florentine), 1435–1525). Ca. 1475. Glazed terracotta. Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1921. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Below you will find capsule entries on a selection of exhibitions to be held (mostly by museums, large and small, and mostly but not exclusively in New York) this autumn. It’s not the best season I’ve seen, but it should be of unusual interest to admirers of superannuated female minimalists and overwrought Italianate baroque painters.  Read More 
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SUMMER AT THE STUDIO MUSEUM: RICHARD HUNT, ALMA THOMAS, JORDAN CASTEEL

Installation view: Jordan Casteel at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo by Adam Reich.
I don’t why, but I seem to visit the Studio Museum in Harlem in summer more often than at any other season. Last year, it was the excellent show of Stanley Whitney that propelled me northwards. This year, it was Nadine Witkin, daughter of the illustrious Isaac Witkin, who reported on Facebook that  Read More 
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