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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."



Friedel Dzubas, Nightroot, 1973. Magna on canvas, 61 x 140 in. Courtesy Leslie Feely Gallery

I'm enthusiastic about the paintings of the great modernist painter Friedel Dzubas, and happy that he's had a show in Manhattan in all but one of the past five years. I've reviewed every one of these shows, as well as publishing the review of a book about him in 2020, the year he didn't have a Manhattan show. I'm happy that Leslie Feely is enabling me to keep this string of reviews unbroken by staging "Friedel Dzubas, 'Color Release:' Paintings from the Lipman Family Collection"  at a Special Exhibition Location, 507 West 27th Street, (through May 31,  Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 6). My only problem is that I'm running out of fresh things to say, and I hate repeating myself. Read More 

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Enrico Donati, "Bateau Ivre," 1942. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. Courtesy Washburn Gallery, New York. © The E. D. Art Revocable Trust

New York in the 1940s was a surreal city, bizarre and unreal because there was a war on and because so many Parisian surrealists had come to it to escape that war. In 2021 the Covid-19 pandemic makes New York seem even more surreal & bizarre – everybody's worst dreams come true.  So what could be more appropriate than "Enrico Donati: Surrealist Paintings from the 1940s" at Washburn (through July)? Read More 

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Franklin Einspruch, Tulips in Vase, 2021. Watercolor and egg tempera on paper, 9 x 6 inches.

For some years now, I have been hot on the trail of an elusive group of realists (yes, realists).   This group calls itself Zeuxis, in honor of the ancient Greek painter whose art was so true to life that birds pecked at his pictures of grapes. At long last Zeuxis (the group, not the ancient Greek) is having a show at First Street (which is actually at 526 West 26th Street).  And, unlike so many of this group's shows, this one will be up long enough so that my readers can go and see it for themselves.  It is called "Composing in the Key of S" (through May 22), and I found it highly enjoyable. Read More 

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In March, The Penguin Press published "Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York," a book by Alexander Nemerov.  Nemerov is the 57-year-old art history professor who teaches at Stanford, and who this past winter contributed an essay to the catalogue for the "Core" paintings of Jules Olitski at Yares (see my post of  February 10 below) Read More 

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