Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone at the New Museum and Mary Heilmann: Some Pretty Colors at Zwirner & Wirth
Heilmann often seems be daring herself to do something truly “awful”—only to find beauty in it…The accumulated brushmarks and open drips make her act of painting transliterate into a kind of crime of passion.
We need to understand properly the Americanness of Abstract Expressionism, without treating it either as a triumph of chauvinistic mythmaking or as an episode in the Cold War.
Baker Overstreet at Fredericks and Freiser
This adventurous photography survey, pairing historical and contemporary examples of sculptural construction and assemblage as subject matter, includes David Smith, László Moholy-Nagy, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, James Welling, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Just as many Matisse drawings and paintings made in Nice in the 1920s and 30s incorporate a representation of himself making the work of art, so Miller includes images of his working space in his landscapes. The effect is to bring us into the working process.
Ching Ho Cheng at Shepherd & Derom Galleries
Nightfall can inspire fascination with the starry sky, optimistic hopes for fulfilled sexual desire, or at least anticipation of sleep. But it can also cause anxiety if you are lonely, which is why van Gogh described The Night Café (1988), at MoMA, as showing a place where “dark forces lurked and suppressed human passions could suddenly explode.”
Janet Malcolm at Lori Bookstein Fine Art
There is a limited range of drawing styles, which tends to be competent enough but generally stilted, illustrative, and a bit nerdish. One wonders whether the difference in treatment that does come across is purely a matter of the individual draftsman’s hand or whether different speeds of movement in the scenes depicted — orderly placid drudging through dreary East European streets versus violent clashes with riot-geared police in some steamy tropical town — account for these differences.
Al-Hadid has been hooked on towers for several years now, involved in what can be taken as a reverse Watts Towers syndrome — instead of transforming found, non-art materials to create an aspirational edifice, she deploys considerable artistry to depict with a literalist intensity state of the art, fabricated structures in a frozen instant of failure.