Recent Posts

Solo Shows

Jennifer Coates and the landscape�s afterglow

Contributed by James J. A. Mercer / Mythological characters and creatures from antiquity populate Jennifer Coates�s beguiling solo show �Lesser Gods of Lakewood, PA� at High Noon Gallery on the Lower East Side. Dryads (wood nymphs) peer out of underbrush. Layers of washy acrylic carve out sapphire chambers for bacchanals. An LED Diana hunts herds. The references are not only mythological, however. The figures� proportions and contours trace long paths through art history, from Greco-Roman sculpture to Matisse’s nudes.

Group Shows

Sweet home pandemic at Frosch & Co

Contributed by Sharon Butler / In New York City, during the lockdown of 2020, my neighbors disappeared. Some left town, others stayed in their apartments for weeks on end. Home Sweet, a group show on view at Frosch & Co through January 16, conjures those early pandemic days, when many of us made modest home-bound work that ruminated on our diminished circumstances and involuntary domesticity.

Obituary

Wayne Thiebaud and starting over

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / The California painter Wayne Thiebaud died on Christmas Day. He was renowned, first and foremost, for his paintings of candies, cakes, and pies, which he first started exhibiting in New York in the 1950s. He later become known for his surreally steep California landscapes, paintings of the flatlands of Californias midriff, and his lonely, isolated figures. To be sure, the gods were with this painter. Not only did they let him live to the magnificent age of 101, but, up until the end, they gave him lifelong vigor that allowed him to fulfill his passion to work in his studio just about every day. His death makes painters like me feel a real personal loss.

Obituary Writing

Dave Hickey and the louche tradition

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / A clear strain in American letters celebrates the capacity of insouciant and unabashedly disreputable people to say things that matter by cutting through the flatulent smog that tends to enshroud orthodoxies. The Lost Generation had Ernest Hemingway, and Baby Boomers had Hunter S. Thompson and Dave Hickey, who passed away in November at 82. These guys particularly Thompson but undeniably Hemingway and Hickey as well showcased their disdain for convention and their embrace of the drunken and the stoned, the naughty and the down-and-out. But all three were dead serious about life and death, and that emerged in their work.

Group Shows

Body Language at The Painting Center

Contributed by Carol Diamond / Now on display at The Painting Center, the group exhibition titled The Body in Question, a phrase cheekily resonant of a coroners report, explores the body as a vessel for communicating experience through painting. Curators Ophir Agassi and Karen Wilkin have adroitly presented a diverse group of ten distinguished contemporary painters connected by their focus on the human figure.

Film & Television

Wartime and time warps in Obayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

Contributed by Paul DAgostino / Nobuhiko Obayashis film Labyrinth of Cinema is, as billed, broadly, profoundly, and provocatively about war. He is best known for his epic War Trilogy. At the same time, the storied Japanese filmmakers final film completed not long before he passed away at the age of 82 in April 2020 is also a visually dazzling, pan-historical account of the ways and reasons for which films are made, viewed, critiqued, and recalled.

Museum Exhibitions

Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Artist of Everything

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / Singling out individual works for praise in an exhibition of the size and range of MoMAs Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction is almost beside the point. Her first US retrospective in 40 years, it includes 300 of her approximately 1,200 extant works: pencil drawings, gouache

Conversation

A conversation with William Eckhardt Kohler

Contributed by Rachel Youens / While preparing for this conversation with William Eckhardt Kohler, who recently had a solo at Catskills Gallery in Tribeca, I noticed that in his earlier work, he occasionally portrayed figures who were sleeping or dreaming. When I visited the show, I realized how deeply the theme of the dream went through his work.