Criticism
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
 
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A show of color film and video since the 1970s surveys radical formulations of storytelling and color. ...
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
 
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The Turner Prize-winning artist and musician’s exhibition is currently on view at the Park Avenue Armory. ...
Saturday, June 18th, 2016
 
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on view at P.P.O.W. through June 25 ...
 

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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The Art Critic by Peter Plagens


I’ve long felt that Peter Plagens and I had a community of interest, as we’ve both written about art for weekly newsmagazines (he for Newsweek, I for Time, having preceded Robert Hughes in that slot). Imagine my delight when I learned last August that Plagens was publishing his second novel, The Art Critic, in 24 installments on artnet! Twenty-four…

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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Proust/Warhol by David Carrier


Marcel Proust begins his novel In Search of Lost Time with a famously long passage in which the Narrator describes sleep, or more properly, the antics of his imagination, while semi-conscious. When I read this passage for the first time, the image that most struck me was that of the Narrator sitting in an armchair reading…

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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Jean Prouvé by Laurence Bergerot and Patrick Seguin (editors)


Chelsea, New York gallery goers with an astute eye for furnishings will have picked up on the cult status of French mid-century modernist Jean Prouvé.  A vintage specimen of his legendary Potence lamp provides scant illumination and surreally displaced period charm to the very public back office at Sonnabend Gallery, for instance; a weatherworn school…

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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Beyond Sacred: Recent painting from Australia’s remote Aboriginal Communities: The Collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty


Colin Laverty is a Sydney doctor, who, along with his wife Elizabeth, has amassed one of the most singular collections of recent and contemporary aboriginal art in Australia. This book documents the collection, containing clear, color-accurate reproductions, photographs of the landscapes in which particular artists work and some portraits. There are informed essays throughout. The…

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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Marlene Dumas at MoMA and Elizabeth Peyton at the New Museum


Dumas and Peyton are united in their limitations as well as their strengths—and, arguably, in their capacity to ensure that their limitations are strengths. Dumas’s photo-dependency gives her imagery political edge. Denial of sensory depth almost punishes viewers for yearning for it, reminding them of the urgencies of injustice and exploitation that this art – and their consciences – should be addressing. Peyton’s style wallows in its own patheticism, as if cloying, ephemeral, illustration-technique are symptoms of self-pity. Such knowingly retarded means sit perfectly with the basically adolescent emotion she taps, which is that of star-struck infatuation.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

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Magdalena Abakanowicz: The Reality of Dreams at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University


These monumental drawings consist of interwoven lines made with charcoal or gouache that tangle and bind together to form strange organic beings. Forms allude to a tree trunk, a human torso, a flower, or an insect; they explore the ambivalence between nature’s capacity to produce the mysterious pulsating of life which is simultaneously haunted by the treachery of death.

Friday, December 19th, 2008

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William Tillyer: The Cadiz Caprices at Jacobson Howard Gallery


There are few abstract painters at work today who manage to push both metaphor and literalism so hard, simultaneously, as William Tillyer.

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

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Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


The attractiveness of the towering, tree covered mountains in Landscape after Wang Meng’s “Travelers amid Autumn Mountains” is self-evident. But if you cannot also see how this is a copy of a fourteen century imitation of Dong Yuan’s 10th century Travelers amid Autumn Mountains, then who knows what you are missing.

Friday, December 12th, 2008

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.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

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Lorna Simpson: Ink at Salon 94 and Salon 94 Freemans


The tensions between intimate and public, between information and interpretation, in Simpson’s drawings of women’s hair take on a different meaning in a second body of work in what the artist calls the “orchestrated theatrical disaster” of war.