We all know and love the young Joan Miró (1893-1983). He was the brightest star in the surrealist firmament that graced Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, whether it was with his wickedly witty paintings or his serenely lunatic "poetic objects." But what of his later work? Only a few of the paintings from after World War II measure up, but I found many happy divertissements among the 20 artfully patinated bronze sculptures made between 1966 and 1974 by this versatile Catalan artist and on view in "Miró the Sculptor: Elements of Nature," at Acquavella (through February 29). Read More
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."
Far from the madding crowd, at 211 East 121st Street in Manhattan, one may find "George Hofmann," at David Richard (through February 28). These eleven canvases, though done between 2008 and 2010, still have an airy freshness that renders them welcome to our jaded town. Read More
FYI: "Artcritical," a website which needs no introduction for my readers, has published my review of "Friedel Dzubas," a new book by Patricia Lewy. Here's a link: Friedel Dzubas, by Patricia Lewy
And "Delicious Line," a new website edited by Franklin Einspruch, has published my review of Carl Hazlewood's show at June Kelly. Here's a link: Carl Hazlewood at June Kelly
A show of contemporary art that I related to was "Remember When It Winter Was" (closed January 12). It was at held at Lichtundfire on the Lower East Side, and despite its political window-dressing, was (thankfully) mostly about the visual in art. Read More
One historical show I related to – indeed, strongly related – was "Globalism Pops Back Into View: The Rise of Abstract Expressionism," at Michael Rosenfeld (closed January 25).
This gallery has two specialties, abstract expressionism and African-American art. By focusing on ab-ex in the early 1940s, before the movement went totally abstract, this show was also able to include a number of distinguished African-American artists who not even by the 1950s had gone totally abstract, but who created some powerful paintings nevertheless. In this context, everybody looks perfectly grand. Read More
In 1906, a 6-year-old girl, Edith Gregoryevna Fivoosiovitch, migrated from Kyev (then in Russia, now in Ukraine) with her family to New York City. She grew up to love art, study it and try to make it, but doesn't seem to have been very good at it herself. She therefore learned all about selling in Manhattan department stores and elsewhere.
She married a painter, Samuel Halpert, became known as Edith Gregor Halpert, and in 1926 opened in Greenwich Village what was to become known as the Downtown Gallery. The tale of this pioneering art dealer, the first to exclusively represent American moderns and American folk art, is told in absorbing detail by "Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art" at The Jewish Museum (through February 9). Read More