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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."



Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Citizen in Downtown Havana. 1932. Gelatin silver print. 9 3/8 x 5 1/16″ (23.8 x 12.9 cm). Lily Auchincloss Fund. Credit: The Museum of Modern Art.
For some reason, I seem to be wallowing in representational art this summer & autumn. But representational isn’t necessarily bad – just as abstraction isn’t necessarily good. In this case, we have two story-telling artists, and although narratives can be boring, I found these two with something to say.  Read More 
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Henry Ossawa Tanner, Rainbow Lake, New York. ca. 1878-82. Oil on canvas, 17 3/8 "x 11 1/4". Courtesy Wilmer Jennings Gallery.
A squib in the NY Times told me that the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia was planning to stage “Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit” (closed April 15, but going on to the Cincinnati Art Museum, May 26 to September 9, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 21 to January 13, 2013). This squib revived memories for me of 1969, the last year I worked on Time, and specifically of the story I wrote in the spring of that year for the magazine on Tanner (1859-1937), America’s first African-American artist to gain international renown.  Read More 
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