While many of the galleries and artists are down in Miami at the art fairs, Two Coats of Paint is engaged in our 2022 Year-end Fundraising Campaign. If you enjoy our art coverage, particularly our focus on painting exhibitions, the lives of painters, and the New York art community, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help keep the conversation (and monthly gallery guides like this one) going in 2023. Then go check out some of the shows listed below.
Contributed by Bonnie Morano / I consider myself an open book. The secret ingredient to my zesty salad dressing is cumin. Avoiding parking tickets in NYC involves a finely worded note on the windshield. But ask me how I get my oil paint to stay so shiny when dry, I hesitate….In this social media age of oversharing, does the aura of the heroic painter today rest on magic and mystery or up front transparency?
Contributed by Marjorie Welish / A Berlin-based Japanese artist well-established abroad, Leiko Ikemura is now having her first exhibition in the United States at Fergus McCaffrey in Chelsea. The show presents a range of her works to fine effect, including masks, figurines in terracotta, and others in cast glass. Her drawing and painting are of particular note. Ikemura pulls together antithetical forces to keep the drawing painterly, and the painting grounded in gestural drawing.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / For painters who are tenure-curious, here is a list of current tenure-track teaching positions.
Contributed by Adam Simon / Don Dudley’s minimalism has always had a West Coast flavor, more concerned with perception than objecthood. Like many artists of his generation, he has steered clear of expressionism, or anything that shifted attention from the object to the artist. His focus has been on the purely visual.
Contributed by Riad Miah / The eleven oil paintings in Fran O’Neill’s solo show “Left Turn” at Equity Gallery traffic in vivid, vibrant gestures of color that form softly curved, ribbon-like shapes. While they bring to mind artists like James Nares, Karin Davie, and David Reed, O’Neill’s energetic but self-consciously controlled brushstrokes and honed sense of color and light more directly suggest instants of becoming or emergence. Reaching back so full-bloodedly to revisit gestural painting, and to exploit the expressive potential of abstraction and the flexibility of its formal attributes, somehow seems heroic.
Contributed by Mark Wethli / Years ago I was fascinated to read about a theory that the grooves on ancient clay pots, like the grooves on a vintage music cylinder, might be playable. Given the right audio equipment, we might be able to hear the voices and sounds of the potter’s studio the moment the pot was being made. This beguiling notion came to mind while I was looking at the most recent work of Tom Butler at the Sarah Bouchard Gallery in Woolwich, Maine.
Contributed by Kari Adelaide Razdow / The motif of time is deeply and deftly embedded in Christopher Knowles’s solo exhibition, STAND, at The Watermill Center…In his contemplation of time, Knowles provides a portal to pop culture from days of yore, with associations to language and sound.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / “Dream Opera,” Mary Shah’s solo show at Rick Wester Fine Art in Chelsea, presents suavely dense abstract narratives that still unfailingly meet the visual priority of beauty. While the notion of an abstract narrative may seem paradoxical by its terms, if representation and abstraction are part of a continuum and not a stark dichotomy, the paradox isn’t too daunting to resolve. Abstract Expressionism, spiritual abstraction, and lyrical abstraction have long certified emotional and spiritual content in abstract painting, and opened the door to narrative as well. Shah confidently marches through it, and in fine style.
Contributed by Margaret McCann / Issy Wood’s paintings in “Time Sensitive” at Michael Werner gallery render transient facets of our daily simulacrum timeless. As though passed through a vintage filter, they seem to recall a. Claude glass, an 18th c pocket-sized, toned mirror that could turn any scrappy piece of wilderness into “a vision of painterly charm: framed and set apart from the rest of the landscape, color palette simplified, bathed in gentle, hazy light.” Aided by a new picturesque aesthetic that combined “the sweetness of the beautiful, cut with some of the sublime’s majestic terror,” ramblers who couldn’t afford the Grand Tour found beauty in local scenery with this handy device. Today one need not even venture outdoors to see anything new. Overstimulation awaits on a quick screen scroll, shifting from monuments to corrective braces to kittens to a Ukrainian battlefield in seconds. Woods slows this high-low flow, turning incongruous images fished from the cyber-stream into often amusing visual meditations with surprising emotional depth.