Guggenheim’s Pousette-Dart show draws reviews

“Richard Pousette-Dart,” curated by Philip Rylands with Luca Massimo Barbero. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. August 17- Sept. 25. Exhibition travels to Galleria Gottardo, Lugano, Switzerland, October 10 to December 22. See NYTimes slide show of the exhibition.

Peter Schjeldahl reports in the New Yorker: “Pousette-Dart�s blowzy spirituality is a trial, what with the cornball mandalas and hieroglyphs. But his heavily worked surfaces, stippled with jewel-like pats of color, often invoke uncanny light, suggesting fluorescent stucco. They entice the eye. Whether the mind follows is in question. Pousette-Dart is either a lonesome prophet of higher values or the best bad painter of his generation�or both. Marginalized in histories of Abstract Expressionism, he longs to be your special friend.” Read more.

Roberta Smith in the NYTimes: “Pousette-Dart�s work fits in all over the map of American art. At the Guggenheim he comes across foremost as the patron saint of American painting�s wide-ranging visionaries and eccentrics. With their bold colors, encrusted surfaces and luminous orbs, his paintings don�t so much hang on the wall as float in front of it, where they look alternately like planes of granular light and slabs of jeweled stucco. His affinities range through a host of texture-mad stipplers, dotters and checkerboarders who came both before and after, from Charles Burchfield to Alfred Jensen and Jess to Ralph Humphrey and Robert Irwin.” Read more.

In the NY Sun, Lance Esplund reports:”The show, which is generally best in its early stages, is also heavier on some types of painting and lighter on others. Whether this is by curatorial choice or curatorial predicament is unclear. But it presents us, somewhat misleadingly, with a streamlined trajectory in which the artist appears to have gradually emptied out and pared down his paintings compositionally, and moved toward his signature all-over, impressionistically stippled and squiggling fields with subtle shifts in color and little or no geometry. Though shimmering and intense, these works, which are the most prevalent in the show, are the least successful paintings of Pousette-Dart’s long and uneven career.”Read more.

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