Writings by David Cohen

Walton Ford at Paul Kasmin Gallery and Neo Rauch at David Zwirner Gallery


Neo Rauch is a prodigious talent. His canvases are lush with painterly dexterity, compelling characterization, and compositional intrigue. But, as with Walton Ford’s animal portraits, there is more about these costume dramas that transports viewers back to the amalgamated past they never knew — the very definition of nostalgia — than truly puts them in touch with a sense of being here and now.


Jake Berthot at Betty Cuningham Gallery and Lois Dodd at Alexandre Gallery


The waterfalls promise to be impressive and quite the sensation, but they will also reveal Eliasson’s main strength – the skill to turn a generous gesture into a subjective experience, which even in a city of millions can be as personal as it will be communal.


Thomas Nozkowski at PaceWildenstein


Even an astute connoisseur would be hard pressed to locate specific Nozkowskian tropes. There are some recurring motifs, but internal scale, texture, and mood present themselves in different coordinates. This is the more remarkable because Mr. Nozkowski’s modus operandi is so prescribed in terms of scale, medium, taste, and authentic touch.


James Siena at PaceWildenstein


The experience in this richly diverse exhibition is not of transition so much as consolidation: the new works, whether big loopy abstractions in fat confident brushstrokes or weirdo figuration, seem legitimate outgrowths of the precious, tight, miniaturist Siena of old.


Jasper Johns: Drawings 1997–2007 at Matthew Marks Gallery


Regardless of the medium he works in, Johns’s busy, agile yet weirdly reticent hand presents an oxymoronic mix of attributes, being at once tentative and emphatic.


Alexander Ross at Marianne Boesky and David Nolan


His imagery is concerned with strange growth patterns, with odd cellular structures metastasizing, imparting an ominous sense of alien substances spreading like the plague. Above all, though, it is his aesthetic impact that feels diseaselike. His giddy surfaces are icky, sickly, and yet addictive.


Jeff Wall’s Unlovely World


The effect of scale, however, is to demand an attention the unglamorous, prosaic images might not otherwise command, to make moral, political claims for the importance of their subjects — in the senses both of the socially marginalized people and the issues raised.


Luc Tuymans


In Luc Tuymans, you are never allowed to forget that the source is banal and secondary. Painterliness underscores alienation rather than ameliorating it.


Juan Usle at Cheim & Read and Silvia Bachli at Peter Freeman, Inc.


Despite different approaches towards scale, texture and color, a common attitude pervades each artist’s style that isolates a cool tension between involvedness and restraint.


William Kentridge, What Will Come, 2007. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery

A Surfeit of Genius: William Kentridge at Marian Goodman Gallery


Seeing Double is packed with elaborations of his trademark idiom: imagery transmogrified