Writings by David Cohen

provenance

Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo


One of art historian Leo Steinberg’s hobby horses  is the way the literature of art generates interpretations that are autonomous of the images being described.  What is written about a work can spin false leads and confused trails that looking directly at the work ought to dispel.  Just as this happens with the historical interpretation of…


Gustave Caillebotte, The Floor Scrapers, 1876. Oil on canvas, 31-1/2 x 39-3/8 inches. Private collection

Gustave Caillebotte at the Brooklyn Museum


GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM


Robert C. Morgan, Veksö III, 1971. Acrylic on paper, 23-¼ x 16-¼ inches, Courtesy Björn Ressle Gallery

Robert C. Morgan at Björn Ressle


Robert C. Morgan at Björn Ressle Gallery


Linda Francis, Don Voisine, Joan Waltemath, Michael Zahn at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, and Jennifer Riley: To Be A Thing In This World at LaViolaBank Gallery


In each picture, there is a sense that the overt structure is a kind of plan for the making of the work, while the work is the exposition of that plan. But, at the same time, the work is more than its own plan.


Fran O'Neil, Reel, 2009. Oil on canvas, 74 x 60 inches

Fran O’Neil at John Davis Gallery


Fran O’Neil at John Davis Gallery


Pierre Obando, Edits, 2008-09. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

Pierre Obando at Rush Arts Gallery


Pierre Obando at Rush Arts Gallery


Leon Kossoff: From the Early Years 1957-1967 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


Commensurate with their disconcerting depth, Kossoff’s early paintings are literally and metaphorically heavy. The defiant sweeps of brush resemble nothing so much as tire tracks on a sodden road.


Leon Kossoff, Seated Woman, 1957. Oil on board, 61 x 36-5/8 inches

Leon Kossoff at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


Leon Kossoff at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


Stanley William Hayter in America: Paintings, Drawings and Prints, 1940-1950 at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art


Naumann has had the courage and good taste to break the medium barrier between Hayter’s experiments in printmaking, drawing and painting by presenting his work chronologically, regardless of – and mixing up – medium and support.

The resulting hang is very refreshing, and vindicating, to those afficionados sick to the hind teeth of Hayter being dismissed as a “technical wizard” in the etching studio, and therefore not, by extension, a “real” artist outside of it.


Jean Prouvé by Laurence Bergerot and Patrick Seguin (editors)


Chelsea, New York gallery goers with an astute eye for furnishings will have picked up on the cult status of French mid-century modernist Jean Prouvé.  A vintage specimen of his legendary Potence lamp provides scant illumination and surreally displaced period charm to the very public back office at Sonnabend Gallery, for instance; a weatherworn school…