Criticism
Monday, August 28th, 2017
 
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On view in Chelsea, extended to September 1 ...
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
 
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Exuberant joy in the face of anguish; through September 10 ...
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
 
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For Dumas, the question of extinction also points to violence against African-Americans ...
 

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.

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.

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

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Willard Boepple: Looms at Lori Bookstein Fine Art


The author finds unexpected links between Boepple and the Surrealist phase of Alberto Giacometti

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

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The Unknown Blakelock at the National Academy Museum


In addition to his spontaneous brushstrokes, Blakelock explores a decalcomania-like technique of load, press, smear, and lift. This emphatically material-based process creates a raised, textural web of paint activity with a few scattered reds, oranges and yellows flecking a surface that is eerily similar to Jackson Pollock’s and as interesting to ponder.

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

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Zero in NY at Sperone Westwater Gallery


Working outside the gallery system, these artists made single-evening exhibitions, often in their own studios, issuing manifestos with these events. While some artists involved with Zero, like Lucio Fontana, are well recognized in America, this is the first survey of the lesser-known group in the States.

Monday, December 1st, 2008

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Old Masters, New World: America’s Raid on Europe’s Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman


At the end of the Civil War, there were very few significant paintings in America. By the start of the Great War, however, thanks to a surprisingly small group of men and women, the extensive collections we possess today had started to be formed. Cynthia Saltzman, a marvelously writerly writer, has studied the literature, read…