In Luc Tuymans, you are never allowed to forget that the source is banal and secondary. Painterliness underscores alienation rather than ameliorating it.
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.
Seeing Double is packed with elaborations of his trademark idiom: imagery transmogrified
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.
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.
As Burri’s retrospective continues at the Guggenheim through January 6, a review from 2008
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.
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.
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.
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.