Tag: Laurie Fendrich

Museum Exhibitions

When an artist becomes a community: The life and work of Benjamin Wigfall

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / Understanding the work of the mostly overlooked artist Benjamin Wigfall (1930–2017) requires looking at far more than the art. Over the course of his lifetime he made numerous paintings, assemblages, collages, and prints, a number of which are on display in the large, thoughtfully curated survey exhibition “Ben Wigfall & Communications Village” at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.

Fiction

Short story: The Cat Sitter [Laurie Fendrich]

Hold on, hold on, Harry said to himself as he scrolled back up the web site.  

Academic couple in Westchester looking for reliable cat sitter for our cat. Must be willing to stay in our home, set on two private acres, mostly weekends but at times longer. Employment begins end of June and continues through fall. $100/day. References required. If interested DM me. Alice Wikam.

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.

Museum Exhibitions

Philip Guston’s existential ferocity

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / The revised exhibition, at the Museum of fine Arts in Boston, with 73 paintings and 23 drawings, is a team effort mounted by the museum’s two curators, two guest curators, various museum staff and educators, the critic Homi Bhabha, and a trauma counselor who crafted a statement about “emotional preparedness” for the show. It begins: “The content of this exhibition is challenging. The Museum offers these words in a spirit of care and invitation.” Midway through the exhibition, visitors who find the material too disturbing can leave through a special exit before they encounter particularly vivid Klan imagery.

Museum Exhibitions

The Whitney Biennial: On the heels of trauma

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / While an artist friend and I were having dinner together after seeing the Whitney Biennial, she suddenly said” “Art is a cult.” For a second, I thought she was joking – I mean, art is truth and goodness, cults are lies and wickedness. Then I realized how much sense it made.

Solo Shows

Anne Ryan�s small world

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.

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.

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

Fiction

Fiction: The Real, the Fake, and the Ugly [Laurie Fendrich]

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / What a mess. And today was doomsday. Eliza Netsua couldn�t get back to sleep, so she dragged herself out of bed at five a.m. Her loft, long ago a sewing sweatshop renovated only insofar as the splintery floors had been sanded and the walls slapped with multiple coats of white paint, was already hot and stuffy. A full-on August heat wave in New York. The gallery was closed for the month and, moreover, it was Monday, a day even she, the assistant director, wouldn�t ordinarily be working….

Gallery shows

The upstate line

Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / The Subject is The Line at the Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, New York, is a handsome, beautifully installed exhibition of the work of fourteen established artists.