Writings by Jonathan Goodman


Shahzia Sikander at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Brilliantly colored, covered with decorative motifs and gestural abstractions, the work suggests a gorgeous manuscript, a place where the politics of place and the pain of indifference no longer exist.


Ellen K. Levy: Stealing Attention at Michael Steinberg Fine Art

The complications of scale bring about violent contrasts and juxtapositions, many of which make little evident sense; this is, I think, a metaphor for the anarchy of war, as well as the dishonesty that provided moral cover for those politicians who originally wanted to invade Iraq.


Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool at the Studio Museum in Harlem

The painter Barkley L. Hendricks caught not only the mood, but also the dress of black Americans in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Indeed, the subhead of the Studio Museum’s exhibition, “Birth of the Cool,” gives the nod to the development of a style whose casual hipness and intimated militancy marked a generation of African Americans.


Lin Yan at China Square Gallery

Lin has managed, through wit and a visionary interpretation of speech, to create a low-relief sculpture that refers simultaneously to American political and artistic history.


Matt Mullican: A Drawing Translates the Way of Thinking at The Drawing Center

When Mullican asserts in writing that the “preoccupation with materials and processes seems to clutter up the phenomenon of what interests me,” he is making it clear to us that no individual person or thing can contain the entirety of that which engages him. Thus the artist reworks appearances as a means of describing the gestalt that both energizes and evades his hand.

Miguel Trelles: Trámite – Hsiao at the Gabarron Foundation Carriage House Center for the Arts

Much of his earlier work has been involved in reconciling his interests in Chinese traditional painting with his very contemporary reading of his own outsider status as a bilingual Latino artist in America.


New China New Art by Richard Vine

Vine and artist Zhang Hongtu present revised/expanded edition at New York Public Library this Wednesday (February 1)


Jackie Winsor at Paula Cooper Gallery

Much of Winsor’s originality derives from her enigmatic yet evocative treatment of form, which conceals as much as it reveals.


Ching Ho Cheng at Shepherd & Derom Galleries

One of the last methods Cheng used included metal that, once it oxidized, existed as a rough surface of rust whose compelling alchemy gave his audience a remarkable exterior to consider. The magic of these pieces results from contrasts in color as well as memorable differences in the finish of the paint and copper.


Su Xinping: Toasting

One does not want to exaggerate Su’s gloom, but an unspoken anguish works its way into most of his art. His paintings beckon toward an isolation that is as moral as it is esthetic, so completely existential is its underpinnings.