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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."



Richard Timperio, proprietor of Sideshow, has really thrown me a curve ball with his current exhibition, which is entitled “Louise & Randy: (Hotter Than ‘Ell’)” (through November 13). I’m sure he didn’t realize he was doing this, but in pairing together the paintings of Louise P. Sloane and Randy Bloom, he has set me a serious problem in criticism. The problem is that while I am very familiar with Bloom’s work, having been following it for decades, this is the first time I’ve been made aware of Sloane. And, although Sloane reads my column online, Bloom (full disclosure here) is the one who dreamed up the idea of the column originally, and (although that was a long time ago) originally put it online for me. All this means it’s terribly difficult for me to treat both artists with equal warmth, much though I admire both talents. Nor do these artists have a whole lot in common, beyond the fact that both are women, paint abstractions with squares in them, use bright colors, and like jazz (then again, who doesn’t?). Under these circumstances, I’ve decided that the best way to handle this situation is to write two separate reviews, one for Sloane and one for Bloom. Actually, I think both would prefer this, as both have gotten up nice little catalogues in honor of the occasion, with high-quality color illustrations and fine catalogue essays (Lily Wei for Sloane, Carter Ratcliff for Bloom).
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