One of the last shows I was able to see this spring, before the curtain dictated by COVID-19 descended on the New York art scene, was "Louise Sloane: New Horizons" at Spanierman Modern (through March 28). I am so glad I did. For the formula Sloane has been employing ever since I first encountered her painting has finally altered, at least a bit! Hurrah! Read More
Report from the Front
Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. New shows: "events;" how to support the online edition: "works."
Three days later, and a lot more irritated, I report that in the Big Apple, all restaurants and even fast-food outlets like Dunkin' Donuts are now no longer allowed to serve eat-in customers. If I want to go out & do the walking my knee surgeon recommends I am hard-pressed to find someplace to sit down – even if I am toting a takeout cup of coffee. Still, I suppose I should be grateful that I have not yet been struck down by COVID-19, and am still able to report on my visit on Friday, February 29, to "The Art Show," as sponsored by The Art Dealers Association of America and held at the Park Avenue Armory.
I always enjoy "The Art Show" more than The Armory Show, and not only because their attitude toward the press is a lot more civilized than that of the Armory Show. From what I can tell, The Armory Show has recently decided that only sycophants are entitled to press passes, whereas "The Art Show" welcomes all members of the working media. True, because the ADAA show is composed exclusively of U.S. dealers, it customarily displays less art by foreign artists. On the other hand, it is far more open to "historical" art, both European and American, so the percentage of gallery displays that I really want to talk about is higher.
Finally, because this year's edition showcased only about 70 galleries, it was a lot more manageable than the Armory Show – not least, because it was far more generously supplied with seating for visitors. All in all, it was a most pleasurable experience.
Well, the big news of the moment is, of course, the world-wide spread of COVID-19, and it affects everything else. Here on a Saturday in the Big Apple, auto traffic is light and buses are nearly empty, but almost anyplace that sells reasonably-priced food, from supermarkets to coffee-and-bagel shops, is doing capacity business. For New Yorkers (and maybe all Americans) the solution to every problem, it would appear, is EAT!
As almost all museums in New York, and most of the galleries, are closed, I don't know how long I will be able to continue my reviewing activities in this column, but I did manage to visit The Armory Show, on Piers 90 and 94, and "The Art Show," at the Park Avenue Armory. Attendance was on the light side when I was there, especially at the Armory Show, but I prefer to think that this was due to the fear of contracting COVID-19 as opposed to any lessening of interest in the art scene per se. Read More
If, like me, you're a passionate New Yorker, you'll relish this latest & very worthwhile excursion into the life & times of Big Apple transport. It's "Track Work: One Hundred Years of New York City's Subway" at ACA in Chelsea, with nearly 60 drawings, watercolors, prints, oils and images in other media, all bringing history – right up to the present – vividly alive (through March 14). Read More