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."
SUMMER INTO AUTUMN AT THE MET: AN INSIGHT INTO THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, A BLOCKBUSTER, 4 LESS SUCCESSFUL SHOWS & FINALLY, TWO SMALL GEMS
I shall also offer a few thoughts about "Heavenly Bodies" its record-shattering summer blockbuster (through October 8), and four smaller and less successful spring-into-summer shows, since closed..
Finally let me call to your attention two very small but altogether delectable exhibitions, both still with us: "Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art” (through January 6, 2019) and “African American Portraits: Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s." (through October 6). Read More
What a range of art Paris hosted in the years between the two world wars! At The Jewish Museum, the big summer show is “Chaim Soutine: Flesh” (through September 16). It presents 32 mostly still-life paintings that the moody, Russian-born expressionist made between ca. 1916, three years after he arrived in Paris at the age of 20, and 1943, the year of his death. At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the big show is “Giacometti” (through September 12). This full-dress retrospective takes the wickedly witty Swiss-born, Paris-based sculptor (1901-1966) from his early surrealist period , in the late 1920s and early 1930s, through his "existential" period, at its apogee in the 1950s and 1960s, Read More
On July 1, at 2 am, I managed to hit my head so hard that it took 14 (or was it 16?) staples to close the scalp wound I’d incurred. Physically I seem to be recuperating nicely, but getting my head back together again in a figurative sense is proving harder. I do hope I am now up to giving you a report on “Thomas Downing: Spot On” at Yares Art at 745 Fifth Avenue (through August 6). This report will consist of Read More
First, among the small but loyal band of people who subscribe to the print edition of (An Appropriate Distance) From the Mayor’s Doorstep are – gasp, yes, a few Republicans.
And, because its subject is primarily art, I normally try to avoid discussing my admittedly Democratic preferences in it.
I feel that art and politics are like apples and oranges, irrelevant to one another.
Though I know that many great artists have used their art to make political statements, it is because of the quality of their art as art which has made those works survive. Whatever political situations they may have been concerned with, as time passes are forgotten, so irrelevant that it becomes necessary to explain them in museum labels.
That said, on this occasion, I am going to discuss my preference in the Democratic primaries being held today, June 26, in New York State’s 12th Congressional District. This is where I live, and it is a heavily blue district in a heavily blue state. Thus whoever wins the primary is more or less assured of election in November. Read More