Author: Sharon Butler

Gallery shows

Hudson Valley Selected Gallery Guide: Dec 2023

Check out the Two Coats of Paint handy interactive map to the Hudson Valley art region. NOTE: If you would like your gallery exhibition to be considered for inclusion in the next Selected Guide to the Hudson Valley, please send a note to and write HUDSON VALLEY in the subject […]

Solo Shows

Gandy Brodie’s loaded brush

Contributed by David Carrier / Painting with a loaded brush to create heavy layers of pigment by juxtaposing strands of varied colors is a distinctive, philosophically interesting art form. Eugène Leroy (1920–2000), a notable practitioner of it, had real doubt about the validity of the very act of making paintings. So did Alberto Giacometti. They asked when an artwork was finished, and answering the question is a particularly stiff challenge for one who wields a loaded brush. Such an artist tends to feel compelled keep painting until he or she can “get it right,” which may never happen. Repainting, of course, can also simply manifest love of the activity, and the desire that it never end.

News comment Writing

Part 2: On “negative criticism”

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / It’s tempting to lament the demise of the takedown review. The form invites both schadenfreude and outrage, which are energizing. In the literary world, it had been fading for some time until B.R. Myers and Dale Peck revived it in the naughts. They enjoyed an extended moment of visceral celebrity, but it seemed to burn out relatively quickly on a pyre of stern earnestness. Literary Hub does publish a list of the year’s “most scathing book reviews,” but the targeted screeds – self-promoting Beltway memoirs, vanity projects by anointed novelists, didactic polemics masquerading as fiction – tend to be overripe, low-hanging fruit that would be exempt from even the most charitable standard of forbearance. The general rule of civility is still that the compulsion to shape opinion is best served by measured reason rather than reactive assault.

Solo Shows

Donna Dennis’ extraordinary invitation

Contributed by Iris Cushing / Donna Dennis is an artist of transition and transformation. Her architectural installations – which she pioneered in the 1960s and has continued to develop – often take the shape of transitory sites: subway stations, hotels, tourist cabins, and, in the case of her show “Ship/Dock/Three Houses and a Night Sky” at Private Public Gallery in Hudson, a loading dock. Like much of Dennis’ work, this installation draws on her experience and observation of vernacular spaces. It evokes industrial structures on the shore of Lake Superior, where the earth’s minerals are loaded on freighters by the ton and transported over water. This work marks the first time in Dennis’ expansive career that she’s combined three-dimensional architecture with painting. In merging the two media, she seamlessly creates a world for viewers to dream into.

Museum Exhibitions

Lucian Freud, authentic modernist

Contributed by David Carrier / The National Gallery’s retrospective celebrating the centenary of Lucian Freud’s birth is first exhibition of his work in a museum of historical art. Freud himself was very familiar with The National Gallery. As the catalogue says, he thought of it “as a doctor to whom, as an artist, one turned for help.” With more than 60 paintings on display, we get a full picture of his career.

Gallery shows

An exhilarating gut punch at Shoot the Lobster

Contributed by Jacob Patrick Brooks / I take it as a bad sign when galleries seize an opportunity to “respond” to something. At best, it’s slightly out of touch. The nature of putting on a thoughtful show is that it takes time and effort to pull off. Generally, the result is that it misses the moment. “New Images of Women” at Shoot the Lobster avoids this pitfall. It manages to be both provocative and timely. The work is carefully chosen, the message well-crafted and delivered like a perfectly timed punch in the stomach. 


Projects: Red Shoes in East Hampton

Contributed by Abby Lloyd and Hadley Vogel / The progenitor of the East Hampton Tow wasn’t on wheels. It was a shed in the backyard of Hadley�s childhood home. She founded East Hampton Shed in 2012 with Nate Hitchcock, and for eight years, mostly during the summer, the shed functioned […]