Yes, I know, you say impatiently. But the painting of "The Red Studio" (1911) by Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954), has been one of the oft-displayed treasures of the Museum of Modern Art since it was acquired in 1949. What's so new about that? Answer: This compact but far-ranging show united "The Red Studio" itself with almost all the smaller surviving art works that were depicted by the artist within that larger painting. Those included paintings, sculpture, and a ceramic plate. Read More
Report from the Front
Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. New shows: "events;" how to support the online edition: "works."
One might never guess it to look at the svelte and poised little lady known as Francine Tint, but inside her lurks the swashbuckling scenario of those dashing, mustachioed buccaneer-types whose whiplash sword's play animates movie classics from The Sea Hawk to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That, at any rate, is the impression one gains from the twelve large to very large and generously animated abstract paintings that constitute "Francine Tint: Life in Action," as curated by Robert C. Morgan and viewable seven days a week from 10 to 5 in the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South (through December 2). Read More
Those of us lucky enough to have known Walter Darby Bannard (1934-2016) will remember that besides being a very fine painter, he was a witty and articulate writer. The writing by him that I was initially most aware of appeared in art magazines in the '70s and '80s, when he was in the New York area and exhibiting in galleries on the Upper East Side. However, "Aphorisms for Artists: 100 Ways Toward Better Art" belongs to a later period in Bannard's life – the decades when he was in Florida, and teaching (or having taught) art at the University of Miami (toward the latter part of this period, his paintings were being rediscovered in Chelsea). Read More
Our review this week is of "Randy Bloom" at Emerge in upstate Saugerties, NY (through September 11). And do I ever have a distinguished guest critic for you! The review below is by Katherine Crum, whose Ph.D. is from Columbia, and whose museum experience includes founding the Baruch College gallery at CUNY, directing the art museum at Mills College in California, and working as chief curator at the Parrish Museum in Southampton. As owner & co-director of the Nicholas Wilder gallery in Los Angeles, back in the 60s, Ms. Crum represented Frankenthaler, Noland and Barnett Newman, among others, and she has published on figures as diverse as Dan Christensen and Pat Lipsky. Herewith her review & many thanks to her:
"Randy Bloom's current show at Emerge in Saugerties is a perfect introduction for those who don't yet know her work and a delightful taste of new directions for those who do. Strong work, good choices and a thoughtful installation highlight three phases of her work in one compact space.
I've long thought of Manierre Dawson (1887-1969) as "the pink cubist." I'd only seen individual paintings by him in exhibitions of early American moderns and pink seemed a conspicuous part of his color schemes, while the dates of his paintings and their angular, convoluted shapes reminded me of Picasso & Braque during their heroic period of Analytic Cubism. I am a great fan of Analytic Cubism, so I welcomed the chance to see Dawson's work in greater depth. On view at Schoelkopf on Manhattan's Upper East Side is "Manierre Dawson: Early Abstraction" (through August 26). On view are 17 oil paintings done by this elusive master between 1906 and ca.1921 -- and with twelve done between 1910 and 1915, roughly the heyday of Analytic Cubism. Read More
In the middle of a hot-hot summer, we have a whole show of cool, cool pictures (both in a literal sense, meaning with the shapes within them mostly carefully-and dispassionately defined, and in a slang sense, that is to say "hip," "with-it" or "the cat's meow" in the slang of other eras). This modestly-scaled but nonetheless ambitious show of 20 paintings by 10 artists is called "Hard-Edged: Geometric Abstraction" and it's at the newest branch of the newish Upsilon Gallery, the branch at 23 East 67th Street (through August13).
This is a big season for the semi-abstract American painter Milton Avery (1885-1965). For nearly a year a retrospective with almost 70 of his works has been taking a far-flung route, from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas last fall to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut last winter and opening last week as "Milton Avery: American Colourist" at the Royal Academy of Art in London (where it stays until October 16). Here in New York, Yares Art is celebrating its half-century relationship with the artist's estate by "Milton Avery: Fifty Paintings/Fifty Years" (through July 30). Creating not one but two museum-quality shows might tax the powers of most artists, but all things considered Avery's powers are more than equal to the task. Read More
My problem is that I came in on Winslow Homer (1836-1910) when the sun of modernism still shined. My guide was Barbara Novak, and her widely-admired "American Painting of the Nineteenth Century" (1969). But if anybody wants a primer on how postmodernist clouds have rolled in over the artistic landscape, they have only to compare her treatment of Homer with the current retrospective "Winslow Homer: Crosscurrents" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through July 31).
I should be writing about Winslow Homer at the Met, and I'll get to it soon, but meanwhile I can't resist announcing another possible viewing pleasure, the summer show of "Leslie Feely: Hamptons," now on view through August 7, Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 pm. This is not a review. It is only an announcement. However, I can't get out to Long Island at present, and this show is said to have work by Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Poons, Friedel Dzubas, Robert Motherwell, and many others – so much of it that the gallery had to find a small house to display it all (see photo). This house is located in Wainscott at 372 Montauk Highway – for more information and/or a map, email Dakota Sica, Feely's loyal lieutenant, at email@example.com or call (917) 288-8120.
Here I am, back in the land of the living. Still not sure whether or not I'll be able to maintain my previous pace, but meanwhile here's a review of the current & frankly beautiful show at Berry Campbell – which is "Walter Darby Bannard: See First, Name Later: Paintings 1972-1976" (through July 1).