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Artist's Notebook

Arctic journal: Retreating glaciers and uncanny songs

Contributed by Frank Webster / The High Arctic has always fascinated me. Since falling in love with Barry Lopez’s classic Arctic Dreams some two decades ago, I have dreamed of visiting the far north. So I was very excited to receive word that I had been accepted for the Arctic Circle expedition. A couple of pandemic postponements later, I finally was able to go on the voyage in June of 2022.

Lists

Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide NYC: July, 2022

Is summer my favorite season in the city? Emphatically, YES. A few galleries, having staked out space in the mountains or at the beach, are closed for the season. But plenty are open, and some are presenting exuberant group shows that defy the gloomy and anxious national mood. Highlights include “Painting As Is II” at Nathalie Karg, “ASKEW” at DC Moore, “Pattern and Recognition” at Sperone Westwater, “Early Summer” at Theodore, “Catechism” at Bridget Donahue, “Ink” at McKenzie Fine Art, and “Weeds and Spores” at Alexandre. I’m not sure precisely what to expect from “The Tale Their Terror Tells,” which opens at at Lyles & King on July 9, but it features a huge roster of artists and promises to be intriguing. On July 13, stop by the opening of “TANGO” at Jennifer Baahng Gallery at 790 Madison Avenue on the UES. I’ll have a couple paintings in the show. Then, the next day, on July 14, don’t miss the opening for “Psychedelic Landscape” at Eric Firestone. Should be lit.

Lists

Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide to the Hudson Valley: July, 2022

Contributed by Sharon Butler / It’s the height of summer arts season in the Hudson Valley, and this is our most expansive Gallery Guide yet. On July 22-24, Upstate Art Weekend, featuring more than 100 exhibitions, extended gallery hours, and a slew of special events, adds a thick layer to the month’s already robust art programming. As a bonus, more than 50 artists will open their studios to the public. We are also pleased to see that SEPTEMBER Gallery will be reopening on July 23 at their new space in Kinderhook NY.

Fiction

Bernard Goes to Chicago [Laurie Fendrich]

Spring had arrived in Chicago, but wouldn’t you know it, just as people were putting away their winter clothes a snowstorm hit. It pushed in hard from the plains, its wind snapping off tree limbs and flattening daffodils. The snow was supposed to go all day, so Bernard reluctantly left his car behind and took the Ashland bus to his gallery on Chicago Avenue where Molly Upton, his most important artist, was to meet him for a walkthrough of her show before the opening at five o’clock.

Solo Shows

Joy Episalla’s radical photography

Contributed by Adam Simon / Lately I find myself wondering what impact the ubiquity of cellphone cameras is having on the practice of fine-art photography. As frustrating as it might be for the serious photographer to see everyone and their cousin constantly taking and posting pictures, one salient effect could be a rising inclination to explore the limits of what defines a photograph. There has been a resurgence of interest in photograms and camera obscura for some time now, and Joy Episalla’s current show of works labelled ‘foldtograms’ on view at Tibor de Nagy are even further removed from the idea of capturing an image.

Solo Shows

Nora Griffin’s defiant valentine to New York

Contributed by Zach Seeger / Nora Griffin’s ostensibly playful, jangled paintings, on display at Fierman West, reflect not only a galvanizing appreciation of the moment but also a deep understanding of art history and its connection to the contemporary zeitgeist. There is a sheer, crude brilliance about them, and it is inspiring.

Studio Visit

Elisabeth Condon: Beautiful complexity

Contributed by Sharon Butler / To understand Elisabeth Condon’s paintings, it seems important to know that she grew up in California in a highly decorated house where she spent hours staring at the wild patterns of the fabrics and wallpapers. The experience certainly informs her exuberant paintings, in which pattern, flower, landscape all co-exist, as she says in her artist statement, in living, breathing presence.

Fiction

Lesser Meats [Joy Garnett]

The principal of our junior high school was a felon. His name was Mr. Phillips. He was a short man – as short as we were – with a large head of thick hair and dark-rimmed glasses. We called him “Froggy” behind his back. The cops arrested him in a motel parking lot holding up a prostitute at gunpoint. The story made the front page of all the local papers. They said the gun wasn’t loaded, but he was. People talked about it for weeks, maybe longer. Everyone was astonished that Mr. Phillips had signed his real name in the motel register. For this they called him an idiot.