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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."



JULES OLITSKI (American 1922-2007), Fanny D., 1960. Magna acrylic on canvas, 89 x 89 1/2 inches (26.1 x 227.3cm). Photo Credit: Jason Mandella courtesy of Yares Art. Copyright: (c) 2020 Estate of Jules Olitski licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Catalogue essays for commercial galleries are a special form of literature.  Although their writers are frequently referred to as "critics," these writers do not criticize in the sense that reviewers for independent publications might.  As a rule, too, their essays are expected to focus on the works that the gallery will be displaying in this particular show, and to correlate their remarks with the presentation itself.


That said, there is still considerable illumination and edification to be gained from a careful study of the three essays and the "Chronology" contained in "Jules Olitski: Color to the Core, Paintings 1960-1964," the 124-page, lavishly-illustrated outsize catalogue accompanying the spectacular exhibition at Yares Art in New York of 33 medium-sized to large paintings and nine small oil pastels executed between 1959 and 1965.   (This show was scheduled to close on January 30 when I posted my review of it on January 4, but I am happy to report its run has been extended to March 12.). Read More 

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Jules Olitski, Fair Charlotte, 1961.  Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 122 inches (203.2 x 309.9 cm). (Inv#2451).  Courtesy of Yares Art, New York.


I don't have much to say about "Jules Olitski: Color to the Core: Paintings 1960-1964" at Yares Art on Fifth Avenue (through January 30).  That is partly because I have often written about Olitski, and his enormous talents are well-known to many if not most of my readers. It is also partly because I want to post this review as early as possible in the new year, in hopes of alerting more viewers in time for them to get to the show itself.  Let nobody think I don't admire it!  Au contraire, I found it sensational, a terrific feast for the eyes and strongly recommended in fair times or foul.  Don't miss it!


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Installation View: The Fullness of Color; December 18, 2019–August 2020
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Photo: David Heald, © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

 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 

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Willard Boeopple exhibition at FXFowle Architects (photo courtesy the artist)
If you don’t insist on obsessing about the newest fads in Chelsea, two recent and two current shows elsewhere in Manhattan are more worthy of your attention. They are (or were) "Currently on View," at Leslie Feely on East 68th Street (closed February 21); “Kenneth Noland: Into the Cool,” at Pace (& Pace Prints) on East 57th Street (through March 4); “Eric Giraud: Le Rêve Aux Couleur Resilientes” at Wilmer Jennings on East Second Street (closed February 25), and “Willard Boepple Prints: 2 + 3D” at FXFowle Architects on West 19th Street (through March 31).  Read More 
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