Writings by John Goodrich


Learning to Look: “Nature is the Teacher” at the Painting Center

February 2011 exhibition featured Simon Carr, Stanley Lewis, Thaddeus Radell, and Deborah Rosenthal.


Stuart Shils: Recent Paintings at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and John Dubrow: Small Landscapes at Lori Bookstein Fine Art

The exhibitions of Shils and Dubrow overlapped by only a couple days, just enough to allow fresh comparisons between the two. Their differences intrigue: could it be that Shils seeks evocative means of representing, while Dubrow peruses the workings of representation itself?


Max Weber: Paintings from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s at Gerald Peters Gallery

Woman Holding Tablet (1946) pleasingly and convincingly locates a seated figure within a geometric environment, with ochre tints and warm blacks set deftly against notes of bright coral and medium blue. The rather strenuous engineering of the pose and surroundings, however, give the impression of an exercise – a demonstration of the plastic re-creation of a generic event.


Louisa Matthiasdottir: Selected Paintings at Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Throughout this retrospective selection of her work, one senses in Matthiasdottir a luminous reserve – a private temperament joyfully submitting to an exacting task. We’re rewarded with extraordinary evocations of the observed.

Ying-Li, Jim, 2007. Charcoal on paper, 30 x 23 inches. Courtesy of the Artist

Ying Li at the Painting Center

Ying Li at the Painting Center


Peter Heinemann: Bluebird

Heinemann’s intensity, always apparent in his incisive, schematized shapes and hues, now describe with awkward purposefulness the trappings of rustic life: still lifes of dry good scales, vases, and lawn ornaments, and outdoor scenes populated by bird feeders and flower gardens – and, most notably, by the cats which by turns resemble inert, furry spheres or rocketing pillows with lethal teeth.


Gustave Courbet

As a painter, Courbet ravishes a nude in the same manner as he would a tree or a trout: for the visual evidence of its expressive physicality.


Rackstraw Downes at Betty Cuningham and Greg Lindquist at Elizabeth Harris

Downes paintings reflect a unique combination of aggressive conception and passive elaboration. Fervent perceptions of space enliven their broad outlines; details follow, filling in the story of each site exactly “as is.” Colors add atmosphere and light.


I Am as You Will Be: The Skeleton in Art

Cheim & Read 547 West 25th Street New York City 212 242 7727 September 20 to November 3, 2007 In Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s “Triumph of Death” (circa 1562), hordes of skeletons swarm upon a town, pitilessly inflicting lessons about the transitoriness of life and its diversions. Popular depictions of death have evolved in the…


Old School

Zwirner & Wirth 32 East 69 Street New York City 212 517 8677 June 27 to August 31 Zwirner & Wirth’s “Old School” explores a tantalizing mega-generational gap: the divide between sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paintings and our postmodernist counterparts. Nearly thirty landscapes, still lifes and figure paintings by old masters and contemporary artists make for…