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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."



Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938), Moonlight Fantasy, 1930. Signed with conjoined letters at lower left: BLŰMNER; inscribed, dated and signed on the backing with framing notes: Catalogue #15/ 28 ½ x 38 ½ /Gouache painting on panel/1930/ #234/Moon Light Fantasy/Oscar F. Bluemner /Casein varnish on paper mounted on board 30 ¾ x 22 ½ inches (78.1 x57.1 cm) (11138)

I really liked the display at The Art Show this year of Oscar Bluemner's work by Menconi + Schoelkopf. But, like last year's show by this same gallery of John Marin, it turns out that The Art Show booth was only a smaller prelude to a much larger show of Bluemner's work held after The Art Show closed and back at the gallery's headquarters on the Upper East Side. So I held my fire until I could see the larger gallery show, and found a delicious entertainment that I can highly recommend.


Titled "Bluemner and the Critics,"it' s on through December 17 and has a catalogue by Roberta Smith Favis – who is not to be confused with the New York Times critic of nearly the same name, but is instead a longtime professor at Stetson University in Florida, and first curator of the fabulous Bluemner collection given to Stetson by the artist's daughter Vera Kouba. Read More 

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Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938). Paterson Mills, ca. 1911. Colored pencil and ink on paper. Vera Bluemner Kouba Collection, Stetson University , DeLand, Florida
The Montclair Art Museum is an easy commute. The De Camp Bus lines’ #33 route from Port Authority decants you on the doorstep of the museum in only 40 minutes or so, and the museum has long had a reputation for exhibitions that match the ambition – if not the scale – of Manhattan’ s museums. A year or so ago, I vastly enjoyed its presentation of “Cézanne in America,” and this time, I looked forward to seeing two new shows: “The New Spirit: American Art in the Armory Show, 1913” and “Oscar Bluemner’s America: Picturing Paterson, New Jersey” (both, alas, closed June 16). Read More 
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