Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Getting an authoritative grip on a conceptual artist as elusive and unsusceptible to classification as David Hammons is no mean feat. He has been a willful outsider, defensively attuned to an art world that has, until recently, systematically excluded Blacks and others of color, and remains determined to disrupt and, in some ways, to frustrate the art establishment as he cajoles it into changing. Yet in their deft and moving documentary The Melt Goes on Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons, which had its American theatrical debut at the Film Forum on May 5, Harold Crooks and Judd Tully essay Hammons’ iconoclastic critique with admirable clarity and due appreciation, plumbing the art, finding the man, and situating him firmly in art history without ever succumbing to hagiography or expository dullness.
Author: Two Coats Team
Hermitage Amsterdam: The intriguing oddness of the minor Dutch masters
Contributed by David Carrier / The 35 works on display at the Hermitage Amsterdam, including a number of paintings by Rembrandt or his apprentices and some by his followers Carl Fabritius and Ferdinand Bol, afforded me the opportunity to re-assess my views about Dutch art.
Beautiful games: Football, art, beauty, spectacle
Contributed by Astrid Dick / On December 18th, 2022, Argentina, my country of origin, won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar against France, my country of residence. It was perhaps the most epic and thrilling final in this international tournament’s history. Two months later, Argentina’s victory is still slowly settling in my mind. As time passes, I realize more than ever how football – or fútbol, soccer, calcio, etc – at its highest level is a collective practice that parallels the practice of art, where the individual and the team refine and adapt their senses and skill, where gestures leave their imprint in memory, and where a decisive move can determine the outcome.
Mining Krzysztof Grzybacz’s oblique gestalts
Contributed by Margaret McCann / “At the Center of the Onion is Another Onion” is Polish painter Krzysztof Grzybacz’s first solo show at Harkawik. Sturdy yet subtle, his paintings are as elliptical as they are intense. Beyond unpeeling their complexity, his work offers consideration of a larger onion, that of figurative painting’s path through eastern Europe.
Riad Miah: My eyes just heard my brain
Contributed by Sharon Butler / As I walk through the dimly lit space behind an elegantly nostalgic bespoke clothing store on the Lower East Side, I feel as if I’ve landed in Desperately Seeking Susan, the iconic film starring Madonna that captured New York creative life of the 1980s. On the other side of a worn red curtain looms Riad Miah’s bright, busy studio. Confronting me is a plethora of colorful canvases, covered with writhing shapes, floating freely on irregular canvases.
NYC Selected Gallery Guide: March, 2023
What to see: This month, on the Lower East Side, we recommend Two Coats contributor Riad Miad’s solo show at Equity Gallery and Chris Dorland’s show at Lyles & King. In Brooklyn, look for Jessica Weiss at 490 Atlantic, and note that Sheila Pepe has curated a show at Platform Project Space that opens March 2. We’ve never been to Field of Play in Gowanus, so we’re going to try to get over there to see Hopscotch, with Alyson Ainsworth, Kat Chamberlin, and Leonora Loeb. CLEARING is opening a new space at 260 Bowery at the end of the month, with a big group show called “Maiden Voyage.” In Chelsea, who can resist “Ass Backwards,” philisophical wise-ass David Humphrey’s latest at Fredericks & Freiser? And we’ll try not to forget Josephine Halvorson’s “Unforgotten,” which opens at Sikkima Jenkins on March 17. The news from our neighbors in the global art world is that Gerhard Richter, who left Marian Goodman Gallery last year, is having his inaugural show at Zwirner this month, featuring “new and recent abstract works.”
Chris Dorland, historian for the future
Contributed by Sharon Butler / As curators Eleanor Cayre and Dean Kissick pointed out for their 2022 summer show “The Painter’s New Tools,” most painters use computers in the studio, whether to make composite image studies, scan and print 3-D models, create animations, or simply display large-scale imagery. To a greater or lesser degree, all artists are engaged in digital practice these days. Chris Dorland goes at least a meta-step farther. His dazzling paintings, on display in “shellcode” at Lyles & King, are indeed made with digital tools. But Dorland’s new work is primarily about the evolution of the digital environment itself.
Julie Heffernan’s splendid circuses
Contributed by Margaret McCann / En masse in Hirschl & Adler’s brimming rooms, Julie Heffernan’s colorful, busy paintings overwhelm like a pride of peacocks. Her solo show “The Swamps are Pink with June,” a line from an Emily Dickinson poem, evokes the hope nature can inspire. This plays out in iconography, a saturated palette, and the adoption of tree diagrams as compositional trellises, which poise the accretion of experience against spontaneous flowerings from the unconscious.
Five poems by Jamie Romanet
The urgency of our times and the dearth of hours in the studio while I was home with my children during Covid prompted me to begin writing poetry. I wrote the first poems as a response to some portraits I had painted, and, although I’m back in the studio now, I continue to write.
Short story: Bernard’s Eye [Laurie Fendrich]
The annual New Year’s Day party hosted in the cavernous Robeson home in Evanston was invariably a drag, but that didn’t keep anyone who received an invitation from accepting. They went because they were grateful to be on the party list and they wanted to see and be seen. Bernard Souser, the art dealer from whom Sissy Robeson regularly bought paintings, always was invited, of course, and though he’d arrive late and sneak away early, Sissy never noticed….