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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."



Milton Avery (1885-1965), Birds over sea, 1957.  Oil on canvas, 56 x 42 in. (142.2 x 106.7 cm.), Photo Credit: Adam Reich courtesy of Yares Art. Copyright: (c) 2022 The Milton Avery Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


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 

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Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), The Veteran in a New Field, 1865. Oil on canvas. 24 1/8
x 38 1/8in. (61.3 x 96.8cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton
de Groot (1876-1967), 1967 (67.187.131). Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.



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).


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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 dakota@lesliefeely.com  or call (917) 288-8120.

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