Writings by David Cohen

rp_usle.jpg

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


rp_Saret.jpg

Alan Saret at the Drawing Center, Richard Pousette-Dart at Knoedler


Physical gesture means the artist’s hand is present yet transcended: there is no question that the arcs or circles are handmade, but an unforced, lyrical all-overness creates a cosmic, suprapersonal sense of order and well-being.


rp_Grannan-Gail.jpg

Katy Grannan at Salon 94 Freemans and Greenberg Van Doren; Lina Bertucci at Perry Rubinstein


There is a pervasive ambivalence in Katy Grannan’s portraits: the gaze that returns the viewer’s is a mix of coyness and exhibitionism. The images themselves oscillate between similar extremes, building a visceral sense of the present through precision while succumbing to a remoteness that results from theatricality.


Alberto Burri, Nero cretto (Black Cretto), 1976. Acrylic and PVA on Celotex, 147.3 x 246.5 cm. On view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in their exhibition, Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting. Private collection, courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

Alberto Burri at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


As Burri’s retrospective continues at the Guggenheim through January 6, a review from 2008


rp_thomas-demand.jpg

Thomas Demand at 303 Gallery and Merlin James at Sikkema Jenkins & Co


Merlin James and Thomas Demand might seem as different as two contemporary artists can be. But a coincidence of means begs a comparison between shows of overtly contrastive mood and art-world temper. For both artists make their final images from models of their own making.


rp_yasinsky.jpg

Karen Yasinsky at Mireille Mosler, Alex McQuilkin at Marvelli, Isaac Julien at Metro Pictures


Where Yasinsky accesses early girlhood through dolls and dinky illustration technique, McQuilkin seems dedicated to a perpetual state of teenage angst. The specific identification of both with early cinema relates to a broader trend in feminist-influenced art.


rp_Anthony-Caro-South-Passage.jpg

Anthony Caro at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


These hefty yet open-form, emphatic yet enigmatic assemblages of prefabricated, found, and adapted components show a youthful, spry, curiosity-filled artist at the top of his game.


rp_Kitaj-LF.jpg

R.B. Kitaj


R.B. Kitaj’s work broke a modernist taboo – before it became fashionable to do so – by being unabashedly literary. Hilton Kramer once complained that his paintings were “littered with ideas.” But as referential as he could be, Kitaj was always a consummately visual artist.


Lynda Benglis, Quartered Meteor, 1969. Lead, 57-1/2 x 65-1/2 x 64-1/2 inches, edition 1/3. Courtesy Cheim & Read Gallery

Lynda Benglis and Louise Bourgeois: Circa 1970, at Cheim & Read


Louise Bourgeois and Lynda Benglis are both inveterate explorers of sculpture’s soggy underbelly. They are doyennes of a dark sexuality and of the nebulous space between the personal and the universal.