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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. New shows: "events;" how to support the online edition: "works."



John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). In a Medici Villa, 1906. Translucent watercolor and touches of opaque watercolor with graphite underdrawing, 21 3/16 x 14 3/8 in. (53.8 x 36.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by Special Subscription, 09.826
The Brooklyn Museum is also doing things by threes this summer. The talk of the town are the assemblages of El Anatsui. Connoisseurs of historic art are very taken by the watercolors of John Singer Sargent, but silly me! My favorite show at this museum right now is the photography of LaToya Ruby Frazier—not that the other two shows don’t have a good deal to recommend them, too. Read More 
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I am happy to report that Kenworth W. Moffett, for thirteen years curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (among his many other distinctions) has brought his website, Moffett’s Artletter 2.0 up to date with 12 new “writings” on a wide range of subjects. They run a  Read More 
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It’s been 7 months since I looked at the fun & games in DC. We left President Barack Obama, re-elected and smiling. Since then, he has been in the business of governing the country, which is less happy-making. Some water has also flowed over the dam at the U. S. Capitol Building since November, though  Read More 
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Helen Frankenthaler. Eden. 1956. Oil on unsized, unprimed canvas. 103 x 117 inches (261.6 x 297.2 cm). (c) 2013 Estate of Helen Frankenthaler/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

“Painted on 21st Street: Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959,” as curated by John Elderfield for Gagosian (closed April 13) was the largest, most ambitious and greatest gallery show of this season. Indeed, I cannot think of another in recent seasons to equal it. In a word, I loved it.  Read More 
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