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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."



Sotheby's Cherchez la femme: Women and Surrealism exhibition. Courtesy Sotheby's.
The original outsider was a 15th century French poet. When François Villon wasn’t killing people in barroom brawls, he wrote “The Ballad of the Ladies of Olden Times.”

The famous refrain asks, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?’ And in 2015, the answer is--at Sotheby’s, with a stimulating, stunning “selling exhibition” called “Cherchez la femme: Women and Surrealism” (through October 17). Read More 
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Max Ernst (1891-1976). Le start du châtaigner (The Start of the Chestnut Tree), 1925. Frottage with graphite pencil, and gouache. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Gift of Walter Feilchenfeldt in honor of Eugene and Clare Thaw, 2011.28 (c) 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP Paris. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2012.
Occasionally, a show is mounted that neither stirs me personally nor makes me feel that most of my readers would want to see it, but that I still feel deserves a review (even if I am not the right person to write it). Why? Because so much time & effort & maybe even love have gone into its creation, and because Read More 
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