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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 TALL WOMEN (ESPECIALLY FRANCINE TINT)

Francine Tint, Wonky, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 46 x 210 inches.
As March is National Women’s History Month, I cite the fine examples of 1) Louise P. Sloane, whose medium-sized & colorful, rigidly geometric abstract paintings grace the Two E Lounge in the stately Pierre Hotel (through May 31); 2) Arleen Joseph, whose modestly-scaled & colorful, gestural abstract paintings are ensconced in the busy Weill-Cornell Medical Associates clinic on West 72nd Street (through April 24), and 3) most of all, Francine Tint, who has gambled on Cavalier, a somewhat atypical gallery relatively new to the Big Apple, to present her classic yet audacious & brilliantly-hued abstract paintings in “Explorations by Francine Tint,” inhabiting Cavalier’s 4th Floor space at 3 West 57th Street (through March 24). Already, “Explorations” has garnered three enthusiastic reviews – this one is merely the fourth. Read More 
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“THE ART SHOW” & THREE GALLERY SHOWS

Peter Plagens, A Literary Sensibility, 2017. Mixed media on canvas, 72 x 66 inches. Courtesy Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York.
Early March is a time of madness in Manhattan, with art fairs proliferating like rabbits. This year, the granddaddy of them all, “The Art Show,” as mounted in the Park Avenue Armory by the Art Dealers’ Association of America, staged its event the week before everybody else. I went, and will report on it. However, I also saw three Chelsea gallery shows closing this weekend (on March 10) – at Berry Campbell, on John Opper; at Luhring Augustine, on late medieval/early Renaissance paintings and sculpture; and at Nancy Hoffman, on Peter Plagens. Read More 
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ONCE MORE, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

Once again, Richard Timperio and his seemingly endless corps of talented associates have brought to birth the annual monumental group show at Sideshow in Williamsburg (through March 24). This year, it’s called “Sideshow Nation VI: The Greatest Show on Earth!” and for those of us who treasure the fine art of painting, it is all of that—not least because it enshrines this art in a becoming context of timeliness and humor. Read More 
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FUN & GAMES IN THE GALLERIES

Jack Bush (1909-1977), Pink Blossom, 1964. Oil on canvas, 72 x 70 inches (182.9 x 177.8 cm), Inv. #3238.
Having been in Oregon at the end of January, I’m behind in my limited reporting on the galleries, but I did do a little pulse-taking. Two Chelsea shows that inspired me to prose were “Ray Parker: The Nines” at Washburn (through March 3) and “Gordon Parks: I Am You – Part 1” at the 24th Street gallery space of Jack Shainman (closed February 10, but with “Part 2” scheduled for February 15 through March 24). A third show uptown that really turned me on was “Fields of Color” at Yares Art (through February 17).  Read More 
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YET ANOTHER WASHINGTON COLOR SCHOOL PAINTER: KENNETH YOUNG

Kenneth Victor Young (1933-2017), Untitled, circa 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 54 1/4 x 54 inches (HTC14748). Courtesy Hollis Taggart Galleries
From the fact that Yares now features Thomas Downing and Gene Davis, though neither of these Washington Color School painters ever made it to Clement Greenberg’s “preferred” list, I deduce that the market may be getting tight in those painters who were on that list. But Downing and Davis were not the only members of that school, and Hollis Taggart recently (closed February 8) showed off five untitled canvases by a third, Kenneth Victor Young, as part of an “Inventory Show.”  Read More 
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AND RIGHT NEXT DOOR, DAVID HOCKNEY

David Hockney, Kas and Jane, 1965. Crayon on paper, 17 x 13 3/4 inches framed (43.2 x 34.9 cm framed). © David Hockney.
Museum-goers up to a change in pace from the divine to the merely worldly can find lighter, cheerier sustenance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art by walking down the hall from Michelangelo to “David Hockney” (through February 25). This show of about 70 paintings, collages, drawings and photography by an internationally-known 80-year-old Yorkshire-born enfant terrible comes to the U.S. after a triumphal tour through the Tate in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.  Read More 
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IL DIVINO AT THE MET

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, Caprese 1475–1564 Rome), Three Labours of Hercules, 1530–33. Drawing, red chalk; 10 11/16 x 16 5/8 in. (27.2 x 42.2 cm). ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST / © HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2017, www.royalcollection.org.uk.
Everybody today, it seems, knows who was Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564)…..painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and with Leonardo da Vinci, one of the two greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance. So it should come as no surprise that this season's blockbuster exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer" and that it should be packing in the crowds.. The show has already been seen by more than half a million visitors, and on its final day (Monday, February 12), it (but not the rest of the museum) will be open until 9 pm. Read More 
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PEINTURE PURE: MURILLO & VERONESE AT THE FRICK

Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), St. Jerome in the Wilderness, 1566–67. Oil on canvas, 91 × 57 1/4 inches. San Pietro Martire, Murano. Photo: Ufficio Beni Culturali del Patriarcato di Venezia.
The baroque Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) is best known for his rather sappy renditions of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, while Venice’s Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) may be best known for his lush Renaissance allegories with humanistic overtones. Yet in two small but peerless exhibitions at The Frick Collection, we may view radically different selections from their oeuvre. One show is “Murillo: The Self–Portraits” (through February 11); the other is “Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored” (through March 11). Read More 
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JIMMIE DURHAM AT THE WHITNEY; AMADEO MODIGLIANI AT THE JEWISH MUSEUM

Installation view of the exhibition Modigliani Unmasked. September 15, 2017 – February 4, 2018. The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo: Jason Mandella.
I don’t have a lot to say about “Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through January 28). Therefore I shall just fold my discussion of it into my review of a show whose sheer beauty led me to linger at it a lot longer, “Modigliani Unmasked” at The Jewish Museum (February 4). Both artists are or were outsiders within their respective time frames, though what this meant for their careers varied.  Read More 
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“ITEMS: IS FASHION MODERN?” AT MOMA

New Era 59FIFTY style New York Yankee Scarlet fitted cap. 1996. Size 7 ⅜. Wool cap with embroidered interlocking NY front logo. Yankees Top Hat logo rear embroidery. Made in the U.S.A (Buffalo, N.Y.) An original example of the first red cap ordered by request from Spike Lee to wear at game 3 of the 1996 world series playoffs.
One of the nice things that distinguishes the three big shows of applied arts this autumn is that in one way or another their organizers espouse formal values, as opposed to sociopolitical significance. Such was true at the media preview of the clothing—and accessories---show at the Museum of Modern Art entitled “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” (through January 28).  Read More 
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