Contributed by Fay Sanders / Since 1993, the Outsider Art Fair has showcased self-taught art from around the globe, and this year�s program continues to highlight the maverick spirit of contemporary artists working outside of the mainstream art world. Housed in the sleek Metropolitan Pavilion, the fair includes work from sixty-two international exhibitors alongside several curated spaces presenting art tackling themes as diverse as psychedelics, maps, legends, and unexpected genres. The vibrant display of painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, and book arts fills the venue with a palpable energy of color and creativity. Here are some paintings that caught my eye at the fair.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / This month many of the February shows will be on view for another week or two, so if you missed any, such as, for instance, Rochelle Feinstein (Candice Madey and Brigette Donahue, LES) or David Diao (Postmasters, Tribeca), you have a little more time. Recently opened shows include Zachary Keeting at Underdonk in Bushwick, Harriet Korman at Thomas Erben in Chelsea, and Kathy Butterly at James Cohan in Tribeca. We’ll update mid-month when the next wave of openings takes place.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Howard Smith�s understated paintings, on view at Jane Lombard Gallery, are created through a meticulous process of accumulation. Call the technique abstract pointillism. The surfaces are covered with small dots, dashes and brushstrokes, building loosely woven fields of color that sometimes form recognizable geometric shapes. The pieces in this show vary in size from one-inch to eight-feet wide, but the size of the marks remains the same. In most, the color at first glance appears monochromatic, but subtle variations within unified fields create illusions of light and shallow space. In his most recent paintings, the smallest flecks of color are innovatively contrasted with larger dots of different colors. Smith has spent years working in this way. It must be intensely hermetic and time-consuming, but it seems to have been rewarding.
Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / The poet and artist Anne Ryan (1889�1954) accomplished the rare feat of making precious art � art that�s small, perfectly executed, and pretty � that is not the least bit treacly or sentimental. Drawn to both abstraction and surrealism, Ryan was a quiet player in the avant-garde visual art circles of the 1940s, attracting less attention than women artists like Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, and Grace Hartigan. Today she�s best known for her small collages, which she began after having a eureka moment at a Kurt Schwitters collage exhibition at the Rose Fried Gallery in New York in 1948.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / When an arthouse revisionist western directed by an Australian woman and starring an Englishman dominates the Oscar nominations, it�s safe to say that the pandemic has not severely compromised the quality or vision of cinema, even if it has skewed the structure of the business towards streaming platforms and away from brick-and-mortar theaters.With the usual caveats about inevitable bias and subjectivity, here, in alphabetical order, is a defensible Top Ten for 2021.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / What conceptual painter hasn�t looked at an Ikea how-to diagram and at least fleetingly thought it would make a fine subject for a painting? David Diao has gone farther, deconstructing a Gerrit Rietveld chair and using the shapes and colors as the subjects for a new series of paintings, on view at Postmasters through March 12.
Contributed by Holly Coulis / This interview took place on February 13, 2022, on the occasion of the two-person show, “Erin O�Brien and Keiko Narahashi,” at 106 Green, in New York City.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / In 2012, artist, writer, and curator Brian Edmonds founded Curating Contemporary, an online exhibition space that, since its inception, has hosted over fifty exhibitions. Then, in 2019, Edmonds took his project to print, and began publishing Eraser, a biannual book featuring the work of contemporary artists and writers. This year he has organized an exhibition called “Eraser” at Ground Floor Contemporary, in Birmingham, Alabama, that brings together some of the artists who have been featured in his publications. I’m pleased to be included in the fourth Eraser book and also to have two paintings in the show, alongside work by a great group of artists: Matt Kleberg, Jered Sprecher, Jason Stopa, Sean Sullivan, Vadis Turner, Cecilia Vissers, Don Voisine, and Thornton Willis.
Contributed by Armin Kunz / �Can we ever look at Titian�s paintings the same way again?� asked Holland Cotter when he reviewed the reunion of the master�s Poesie paintings at Boston�s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for the New York Times back in August 2021. The show, which was on view […]
Contributed by Sharon Butler / What’s up February? I’m looking forward to stopping by Ortega y Gasset in Gowanus to see “Surface Tension,” a group show featuring work by Dexter Ciprian, Rachel Granofsky, Christina Graham, Kirstin Lamb, Caitlin Macbride, and Sarah Pater, artists who seem to cast the picture plane as an unreliable narrator. In Tribeca, I’ll be checking out David Diao’s new Berlin Chair paintings on view at Postmasters. On the Lower East Side, Rochelle Feinstein, another painters’ favorite, has a show across two venues, Bridget Donahue and Candice Madey. 106 Green, long located on Green Street in Greenpoint, has reopened at 75 East Broadway. They have a charming two-person exhibition with sculptures by Keiko Narahashi and paintings by Erin O�Brien on view through February 19. In Chelsea, McEnery is showing Roy Dowell’s loose geometric pictures and Erin Lawlor’s dramatic brushy gesturals. More news: Hannah Traore has opened a space at 150 Orchard Street and Marinaro has moved to a new space on Broadway in Noho.