This column is indeed fortunate in having an overseas correspondent, David Evison, to review three shows by Helen Frankenthaler currently on view in London. Particularly this is fortunate because Evison is a sculptor, and the biggest surprise of all three shows is a sculpture by an artist far better known as a painter. Herewith Evison's report: Read More
Report from the Front
Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 2-4 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."
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
It's all shut up now, but "The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting" at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is scheduled to remain on view until August 2. And, although it has only nine paintings, four are gold-standard quality, and the five others at least offer a pretty background to those four. Read More
Helen Frankenthaler was a great artist and a sympathetic personality – for me, at any rate. Though we were never that close, I feel privileged to have known her. When I met her, on the occasion of her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art in 1969, she was at the peak of her form and the work bowled me over. I wish I could say the same of "Helen Frankenthaler: Selected Paintings" at Yares Art (through May 18). Still, despite the problems inherent in putting together a show of work by an artist now eight years dead, there is much at Yares to be enjoyed and appreciated (or at least there was, when I last saw the show on March 27). Read More
I couldn't face all those talks at the annual conference of the College Art Association this year, but as the conference was held in Manhattan, I did mosey on down to the New York Hilton to enjoy the Smithsonian's reception for its alumni and to look at the CAA's book exhibits. As with the art world as a whole, postmodernism and identity politics for the most part upstaged esthetics, both in the choice of subjects for books and in the way that these subjects were dealt with, but still I found a handful of tomes that interested me and that I would have bought had I a) the money b) the space to put them in and c) the time to do them justice by reading them carefully and all the way through. Read More
On the first weekend in March every year, this town goes wild with art fairs. But they are over so soon that my readers can't see what I would have been talking about, had I rushed to review them. So I take my time -- nor do I feel a compulsion to review other art fairs since (Frieze, for example). My philosophy is that most art fairs are similar -- with some exceptions, which are as easy to spot in New York in March as they would be in Miami in December or at Basel in June. Read More