Contributed by David Carrier / Born in Russia at the very start of this century, Ester Petukhova is a Pittsburgh resident. Her precocious new show includes seven small acrylic paintings, two of them with two parts, on shaped panels. Burgeoning Blue Screen shows a Russian at work on an old-fashioned computer. Indexed Landmarks 1 & 2 depicts a man, naked to the waist, holding a large fish. And Bread with Salt in the Wound presents a large loaf of bread, and is enhanced with glass beads. “It is a customary Slavic tradition,” the gallery label says, “to present bread with salt when welcoming a foreign nation or power.” Welcome, then, to the former Soviet Union.
Contributed by Jason Stopa / An international survey at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University explores how contemporary artists use abstraction to encode otherwise invisible realities: climate change, political strife, and inequalities of all stripes. Some are household names, others still emerging. Titled “So it appears,” the show is anything but timid. It boasts some 19 artists occupying three floors, each one grappling with the limits of abstraction and its history and pressing beyond the frame of the canvas. Western abstraction has tackled social and political issues before – there was deconstruction in the 1960s, Neo-Geo in the eighties, and most recently the palpable Trump-era uptick. “So it appears” looks to the Global South for perspective.
On March 31, 2022 Two Coats of Paint contributor Julia Kunin spoke with artist-reporters Violetta Oliinyk and Taras Polataiko to see how they were doing, and then she followed up on May 7. Due to unexpected technical issues at Two Coats of Paint, we have been unable to publish these interviews until today.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Its quite a feat for a figurative painter to achieve both intimacy and remove simultaneously, but Jennifer Packer accomplishes just that in The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, the vibrant survey of her work at the Whitney.
Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / If youre looking for pure beauty, or merely a tiny aesthetic tingle, Cameron Rowlands exhibition is not for you. Contemplating his art in an aesthetic sense is as misguided as looking for cooking tips in a boxing match. Granted, the objects he selects for his […]
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The art that accompanies magazine articles usually seems decorative and functional, there merely to cheer up black-and-white text and interrupt regimented columns. Rarely does it well-nigh embody the article itself. William Powhidas portrait of Joe Biden, centered below the title of Fintan OTooles To Hell […]
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In the 1940s, Philip Guston noted that the problem with figurative art was that it vanishes into recognition. By 1960, he was griping about the conceit that abstract art was autonomous, pure and for itself. The tension implied by these two conflicting but evidently valid […]
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Mira Schors galvanizingly insistent new paintings continue her exploration of self and the disembodied mind. Many painters traffic in purposeful ambiguity, using metaphor and abstraction to leave meaning-making for the viewer. Schors work, however, is not mysterious or enigmatic: her intention is to tell us […]
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The Trump administration has tried to physically cordon off Mexico from the United States, and presumably would just as soon exclude the country from America�s cultural orbit as well. From that perspective, the Whitney�s judiciously conceived exhibition �Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art� is […]
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Walking into Michelle Vaughan�s show at Theodore:Art, visitors are confronted with a small oak bookcase, desk, and chair in the center of the gallery. The walls are lined with forty framed portraits of notable conservative women, meticulously rendered in faded pastels on gray paper, that […]