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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."



Philip Gerstein, "Spring Forward" (2014).  Oil stick and acrylic on birchwood panel, 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy Lichtundfire.



The second group  show I saw and enjoyed on the Lower East Side was "In Full Bloom" at Lichtundfire on Rivington Street (through August 20).  This is an exhibition that as its press release says, "addresses the depiction of floral motifs, plant life, vegetation and the rich landscape of a season indicative of growth and bloom." Read More 

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Exhibition catalogue cover, "The Color of Seasons: Nature and Abstraction in the Paintings of Carolyn Newberger and Philip Gerstein"

I have two more exhibition catalogues to report on. The first, with an essay by Jeffrey Katzin, accompanied the show of Kenneth Noland entitled "Noland: Flares."  This show was held during the spring and summer of 2020 at Pace in New York (I reviewed it at that time). The second catalogue is entitled "The Color of Seasons: Nature and Abstraction in the Paintings of Carolyn Newberger and Philip Gerstein." This catalogue was intended to accompany a show of two somewhat younger artists that was to be held at Galatea in Boston from April 1 to 26, 2020, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. This catalogue includes an opening statement signed by the two artists jointly, essays by each, plus a third essay by Brian George. Read More 

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Philip Gerstein, "After the Humans," 2016. Acrylic and mixed media on wood panel, 30 x 20 in.
I am overcome with remorse. Weeks ago, I saw “Philip Gerstein: Sacred Asymmetry” at The Painting Center in Chelsea and liked it a lot. It showed a great deal of care and consideration and was decidedly touching, not least because it marked a radical departure from Gerstein’s last show, which was gestural and even a bit slapdash. Yet here I am, only now reviewing it on its last day! Shame on me! I did have personal reasons for this lateness that I won’t bore you with, but it was also because I had other shows in Chelsea that I wanted to see & mention, too—namely those featuring Maja Lisa Engelhardt at Elizabeth Harris (through December 23), Hassel Smith at Washburn (through December 22), and Neil Williams in “Friends with Pop” at Dean Borghi Fine Art (through November 30). All had their virtues, but I thought Gerstein’s show stood up very well by comparison with any or all of them. Read More 
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Philip Gerstein, Ysabel's Table Dance (composite alternative take), 2007-2012. Oil stick & acrylic on canvas, 54 x 63 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Again racing against the clock, I present two more shows by abstract painters I’ve seen and admired: “James Little: Color/Barriers, Recent Work” at June Kelly in SoHo (closed June 23) and “Being There: Abstract Paintings of Philip Gerstein” at André Zarre in Chelsea (through July 29). Plus a link to a lively article by John LinkRead More 
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