Writings by David Cohen

Marlene Dumas at MoMA and Elizabeth Peyton at the New Museum


Dumas and Peyton are united in their limitations as well as their strengths—and, arguably, in their capacity to ensure that their limitations are strengths. Dumas’s photo-dependency gives her imagery political edge. Denial of sensory depth almost punishes viewers for yearning for it, reminding them of the urgencies of injustice and exploitation that this art – and their consciences – should be addressing. Peyton’s style wallows in its own patheticism, as if cloying, ephemeral, illustration-technique are symptoms of self-pity. Such knowingly retarded means sit perfectly with the basically adolescent emotion she taps, which is that of star-struck infatuation.


William Tillyer: The Cadiz Caprices at Jacobson Howard Gallery


There are few abstract painters at work today who manage to push both metaphor and literalism so hard, simultaneously, as William Tillyer.


Stephen Westfall, Too Much Love, 2008. Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches. Lennon, Weinberg, Inc

Stephen Westfall at Lennon, Weinberg


Stephen Westfall at Lennon, Weinberg


Adam Van Doren, Radcliffe Camera, 2007. Oil on canvas, 18 x 14 inches, Courtesy of The Artist

Adam Van Doren at The Renaissance Studios


Adam Van Doren at The Renaissance Studios


William Steiger, Gondola Wheel II, 2008. Oil on linen, 60 x 48 inches

William Steiger at Margaret Thatcher Projects


William Steiger at Margaret Thatcher Projects


Katia Santibanez, Between the Waves, 2008. Acrylic on wood, 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy Danese

Katia Santibañez at Danese


Katia Santibañez at Danese


Willard Boepple, Burnley, 2008. Poplar, 29 x 60 x 21 inches

Willard Boepple at Lori Bookstein Fine Art


Willard Boepple at Lori Bookstein Fine Art


Patricia Treib, Icons, 2008. Oil on canvas, 66 x 50 inches, courtesy John Connelly Presents

Patricia Treib at John Connelly Presents


Patricia Treib at John Connelly Presents


Cecily Brown, Carnival and Lent, 2006-08. Oil on linen, 97 x 103 inches. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, New York

Cecily Brown at Gagosian Gallery


Was on view until October 25, 2008


Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings at the Drawing Center


There is a limited range of drawing styles, which tends to be competent enough but generally stilted, illustrative, and a bit nerdish. One wonders whether the difference in treatment that does come across is purely a matter of the individual draftsman’s hand or whether different speeds of movement in the scenes depicted — orderly placid drudging through dreary East European streets versus violent clashes with riot-geared police in some steamy tropical town — account for these differences.