May 01, 2017
Marsden Hartley at The Met Breuer
On “Marsden Hartley’s Maine” at The Met Breuer, New York.
On “Marsden Hartley’s Maine” at The Met Breuer, New York.
On “Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence” at the National Gallery of Art.
On the recent exhibition at the Vanderborght and Cinéma Galeries.
On “Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form” at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.
On the first retrospective exhibition of the Chicago painter.
On the merits of simple museum displays.
On the exhibition of the movement at the Royal Academy of Arts.
On “Alma Thomas,” a retrospective at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
On “Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute..
On “The Douanier Rousseau. Archaic Candour” at the Musée d’Orsay.
On William Agee’s Modern Art in America: 1908–1968.
On “Unfinished” at Met Breuer.
On “In Light of Venice: Venetian Paintings in honor of late Columbia Professor David Rosand” at the Otto Naumann Gallery.
On “Alex Katz at the Met” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & “Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s” at the Colby College Museum of Art.
On the new Musée Picasso Paris.
“Frank Stella: A Retrospective” at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
On “Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
On “Caro in Yorkshire” at The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
On “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North” at MOMA and “Struggle . . . From The History of the American People” at the Phillips Collection.
“Diego Velázquez” at the Grand Palais, Paris.
On “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
A look back on John Quinn’s life and work.
On “V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Reviews of “El Greco in New York” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, “El Greco at the National Gallery and Washington-Area Collections: A 400th Anniversary Celebration,” and “El Greco at The Frick Collection.”
Review of “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
On “Goya: Order and Disorder,” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
On “Titian’s Danaë from the Capodimonte Museum, Naples,” at the National Gallery Washington, D.C.
On the renovated Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and its two inaugural exhibitions, “Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes” and “Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith.”
On “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937” at the Neue Galerie, New York.
On the legacy of sculptor Anthony Caro and the work of Willard Boepple, Catherine Burgess, and Clay Ellis.
On “Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe” at the Guggenheim, New York
Visiting the town Donal Judd transformed in Marfa, Texas
On the newly opened Renzo Piano addition to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
Review of “The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution” at The New-York Historical Society
Review of “Robert Motherwell: Early Collages” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Review of “Tell It With Pride: the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Shaw Memorial” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
On “In the Tower: Kerry James Marshall” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On the fifty-fifth Biennale di Venezia, “Manet: Return to Venice” presented by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia at the Doge’s Palace, and “Robert Motherwell: Early Collages” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
On the refurbished Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and “The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America” at the newly renovated Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.
On “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900” at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
On “Lois Dodd: Catching the Light” at the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine.
On “Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “Matisse: In Search of True Painting” at the Metropolitan Musum of Art, New York.
On “Caro: Close Up,” at the Yale Center for British Art.
On “Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade, 1940–1950,” which opened at the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, on September 14, 2012 and remains on view through January 6, 2013.
On “Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye,” which opened at Tate Modern, London, on June 28 and remains on view through October 13, 2012.
On “Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On “Van Gogh Up Close” at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
From “Remembering Hilton Kramer.”
On “Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting” at The Frick Collection, New York.
On “Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture” at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD.
On “Rembrandt and Degas: Two Young Artists” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA.
On “Stieglitz & His Artists” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Eye to Eye: Joseph Marioni at the Phillips” at the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.
On “De Kooning: A Retrospective” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World.”
On “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde” & “Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore.”
On “Manet, Inventor of the Modern” at the Musée D'Orsay, Paris.
On “Gauguin: Maker of Myth” at the National Gallery, Washington, DC.
On “Picasso’s Guitars 1912–1914” & “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso.”
On “John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism” at the Art Institute of Chicago.
On “Abstract Expressionist New York” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936,” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
On Titian’s legacy.
On “Miró: The Dutch Interiors” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On “Picasso looks at Degas” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institure, Williamstown, M.A.
On “Renoir in the 20th Century” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “Matisse: Radical Invention 1913–1917” at the Art Institute of Chicago.
On “The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry” & “The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & “Demons and Devotion: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves” at the Morgan Library Musuem, New York.
On “Hendrick Avercamp: Master of the Ice Scene” at the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam & “Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On “Matisse and Rodin” at the Musée Rodin, Paris.
On “Cézanne, Picasso, Mondriaan” at the Geementsmuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands.
On “Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius” at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
On “Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “Watteau, Music, and Theater” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Vermeer’s Masterpiece: The Milkmaid” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York & “Monet’s Water Lilies” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “James Ensor” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection” at the Musuem of Modern Art, New York.
On “Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice,” at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, on view through August 16, 2009.
On “Cézanne and Beyond” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “Pierre Bonnard: The Late Still Lifes and Interiors” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, January 27–April 19, 2009.
On “Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes in the Golden Age” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On “The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Giorgio Morandi, 1890–1964” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On “Take Your TIme: Olafur Eliasson” at the Museum of Modern Art and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, “The New York City Waterfalls” along the East River, and other public art in the city.
On “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On “Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976” at the Jewish Museum, New York.
On “Gustave Courbet” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “The Late Titian and the Sensuality of Painting” at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
On “Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country” at the Jewish Museum, New York.
On “Martin Puryear” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On the drawings of Georges Seurat at the Museum of Modern Art.
On A Life of Picasso, Volume III: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 by John Richardson.
On the legacy of post-painterly abstraction, occasioned by the exhibition and catalogue for Color as Field: American Painting 19501975.
On “The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings” at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
On the artist’s works at Paul Kasmin Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On “Venice and the Islamic World, 828-1797” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “High Times/Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975” at the National Academy, New York.
On “Matisse: Painter as Sculptor” at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.
On “Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
On “Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso,” and “Picasso and American Art.”
The death of abstract art has been greatly exaggerated.
A review of “CÃ©zzane to Picasso: Ambroisse Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde” opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on September 14, 2006 and remains on view through January 7, 2007.
On the National Academy Museum’s exhibition “Italia! Muse to American Artists, 1830-2005.”
Examining the unexamined in modern American art.
On “The Renoir Returns” at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. and “Master Drawings from the Woodner Collection”, at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
On “Personage” at Gagosian Gallery and “Seeing David Smith” at Knoedler & Company.
On “Goya’s Last Works” at the Frick Collection.
On “Cézanne in Provence” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On “Antonello da Messina,” which opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on December 13, 2005 and remains on view through March 5, 2006.
On David Milne Watercolors: Painting Toward the Light, which opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on November 8, 2005 and remains on view through January 9, 2006.
On Vincent van Gogh’s drawings at the Met.
On “The Legacy of Homer: Four Centuries of Art from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris,” at the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York & the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton.
On “Looking at Atget,” which opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on September 10 and remains on view through November 27, 2005.
Karen Wilkin on “Pioneering Modern Painting: Cezanne & Pissarro 185-1885,” which opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on June 26 and remains on view through September 12, 2005.
On “Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams” at The Royal Academy of Arts, London.
On “Greater New York 2005” at P.S. 1, Queens, New York.
On “Stuart Davis and American Abstraction: A Masterpiece in Focus ” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On “Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): The Drawings” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A review of De Kooning: An American Master, by Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan.
On “The Figure and the Forest: Nineteenth-Century French Photographs and Drawings” at Kate Ganz Gallery, New York.
On “Aristide Maillol: Maillol and America” at the Marlborough Gallery.
On “In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India: Selections from the Polsky Collections and Metropolitan Museum of Art” at the New York Asia Society.
On “‘Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!’: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
On “Byzantium: Faith and Power, 1261-1557,” a complicated yet illuminating exhibition at the Metropolitan Musem of Art that “demands time and concentration of the visitor.”
On “Gauguin Tahiti” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, & its successful attempt to dismiss many of the myths concerning Gaugins’s travels to the South Pacific.
On “Manet and the Sea” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which successfully brings together a widely separated collection of Manet paintings with a common theme.
Pablo Picasso turns heads in Washington with “The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier” at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
On the opening of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and its opening exhibition “From Rodin to Calder: Masterworks of Modern Sculpture from the Nasher Collection.”
On “Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism.”
On “El Greco” at the Metroplitan Museum of Art.
Fresh from a press preview of the Max Beckmann retrospective at MOMA, Queens, I was extolling the virtues of the show to a friend I am very fond of, someone whose fierce intelligence and astonishingly well-furnished mind always delight me. Our tastes often overlap, so I was startled when my enthusiasm was met by a laconic “I don’t like Beckmann.
On Thomas Nozkowski at the New York Studio School Gallery, Pat Lipsky at Elizabeth Harris at L.I.C.K., and John Walker and Helen Frankenthaler at Knoedler and Company.
Was it happenstance, luck, or careful planning that brought two exhibitions linking French and Spanish masters to New York at just about the same time this winter. Whether it was by chance or design that “Matisse Picasso” at MOMA QNS was scheduled to coincide with “Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting” at the Metropolitan, we must be grateful.
When the great Matisse retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art ended, in January 1993, it was followed for one amazing week by an unpublicized epilogue—a small show that could only be described as modernist heaven. Improvised at the last minute by the retrospective’s curator, John Elderfield, the two-room installation set a nearly ideal selection of iconic Matisses among equally iconic Picassos.
On “Voyage into Myth: French Paintings from Gauguin to Matisse from the Hermitage Museum” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
“Late style” is what is supposed to happen to gifted, long-lived artists. At best, it manifests itself as a bold expansion of ideas implicit in earlier work or as a reckless exploration of new possibilities.
For years a wonderful little etching has hung near my desk. It commemorates an evening in 1933 when a group of young artists in Brooklyn Heights, three men and three women, celebrated their friendship, ambition, and dedication to modernism by making portraits of one another on a single etching plate.
Anyone who thought that the Metropolitan Museums tandem summer offerings, Gauguin In New York Collections: The Lure of the Exotic and The Age of Impressionism: European Painting from the Ordrupgaard Collection, Copenhagen, would be crowd-pleasing confections for the vacation season had, as they say, another think coming. Both shows could be enjoyed simply as slightly random accumulations of sometimes wonderful, sometimes familiar works, but both turned out to include some real surprises, to raise interesting questions about the nature of collecting, the difference between American and European taste, and even, in a couple of instances, to make you reconsider your preconceptions about a couple of artists.
A review of Impressionist Still Life at the Museum of Fine Arts.
On “Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting.”
A review of “Orazio and Artemisia Gentilischi: Father and Daughter painters in Baroque Italy.”
Giorgio Morandi at the Musée D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
More than thirty years ago, when I was a graduate student, a college classmate and her husband took me to meet a friend of theirs. I remember almost nothing about the evening except entering the apartment and being stunned by the sight of two walls double-hung with first-rate Egon Schiele drawings.
These days, Alberto Giacometti is seen as the paradigm of his generation of Europeansborn in 1901, he died in 1966. He is regarded as the artist whose work best sums up the mood of the ravaged, postwar world and the tense decades of the nuclear age that followed.
A review of “Louis M. Eilshemius: An Independent Spirit,” at the National Academy of Design & “Louis Eilshemius . . . Imagine That!,” at Gallery Gertrude Stein.
On Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel, 1890-1930, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Vermeer & the Delft School” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “Van Gogh’s ‘Postman’: the portraits of Joseph Roulin,” at the Musuem of Modern Art, New York & “Vincent Van Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard,” at the Saint Louis Museum of Art.
On “The Genius of Rome” show at the Royal Academy, London.
A review of “Manet: The Still-Life Paintings,” at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.
On “Reconfiguring the New York School,” at the Center for Figurative Painting, New York.
On “The Still Lifes of Evaristo Baschenis: The Music of Silence,” at the Metropolitan Museam of Art.
On “Lee Krasner,” at the Brooklyn Museam of Art.
On “Rembrandt and the Venetian Influence”,; at the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries.
A memorial for the photographer, filmmaker & painter.
On Chardin at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
British art invaded New York this spring. The three-pronged attack was mounted not by the YBAs responsible for the adolescent tantrums in Brooklyn last year, but by a group of seasoned painters, all over seventy, all with distinguished track records: Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, and Craigie Aitchison, in order of their familiarity to audiences on this side of the Atlantic.
On The Splendor of 18th-Century Rome at the Met
On Tilman Riemenschneider: Master Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Its difficult to believe, given the current high reputation of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (15711610), that he was ever considered to be anything but one of the great figures of Italian painting. To his contemporaries, his horrifying, voluptuous religious dramascinematic stagings of crucial instants in the lives of saints and martyrs, briefly illuminated for a rapt audience by shafts of dazzling lightseemed the most exciting work of the time; witness the numbers of painters who assiduously followed his lead.
On Modernstarts: People, Places, Things, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
On Renaissance Venice and the North: Crosscurrents in the Time of Bellini, Dürer, Titian, at Palazzo Grassi, Venice
Like that other virtuoso of the rich and famous and their clothes, John Singer Sargent, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres hated painting portraits. Its difficult, of course, to imagine two painters more different: the prodigiously facile, seductive Sargent, who could suggest the gleam of satin and pearls with slapdash, wristy flicks of the brush, and the severe, reserved Ingres, no less adept at conjuring up the trappings of luxury, but whose tense, evocative line and polished surfaces seem to materialize without any evidence of the hand.
On the sculpture installation in the Tuileries
Review of Goya: Another Look, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Floodsongs, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Review of Beckmann and Paris, at the Saint Louis Art Museum
Review of Baule: African Art/Western Eyes, at The Museum for African Art, New York
On Bob Thompson, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Monet in the 20th Century, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Review of From Van Eyck to Brueghel: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Borduas and the Automatist Epic at the Musée dart contemporain de Montréal &Peinture, Peinture at the Belgo Building, Montreal
Reviews of Degas and the Little Dancer at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. & Degas at the Races at the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Review of Clement Greenberg: A Life by Florence Rubenfeld
On Pierre-Paul Prudhon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
On Manet, Monet & the Gare Saint-Lazare at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris
On After Mountains & Sea: Frankenthaler 1956-1959 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
On Lorenzo Lotto: Rediscovered Master of the Renaissance at the National Gallery of Art, Washington
On Ten Paintings by Paul Cézanne Formerly in the Auguste Pellerine Collection at Sothebys, New York
Someones bound to make a movie about Egon Schiele. Im surprised that none of the current crop of young actors with surly expressions and aspirations to be taken seriously as artists has staked a claim to the Austrian painters life, the way Madonna has with Frida Kahlo.
On The Private Collection of Edgar Degas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
On Sculpture of Angkor & Ancient Cambodia: Millennium of Glory at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
On the first installment of The Fields of David Smith at the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
On the exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum
Byzantium. A name that glitters.
Lets get this part over with. No, you dont have any real idea of what the brilliant Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo is capable of if you havent seen his great decorative schemes in situ.
On A Life of Picasso. Volume II: 1907–1917, The Painter of Modern Life by John Richardson with Marilyn McCully
On Henri Matisse: A Survey of Drawings at C&M Arts, New York
My teenage years can be evoked, as I think they can for a few of my former classmates at the High School of Music and Art, not by pop music, but by the street-smart dissonances and raunchy lyrics of The Three-Penny Opera. My closest friends and I went more than once to see the Brecht-Weill classic performed in the Village.
On an exhibition of the artist’s work at the National Gallery of Art, Washington
On an exhibition of the artist’s work at the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown
On a retrospective of the artist’s work at the Yale Center for British Art
On Jan Steen: Painter & Storyteller at the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Among the most memorable paintings in the Museum of Modern Art’s great Matisse retrospective in 1992, an exhibition full of memorable paintings, was a solemn frontal image of a bearded man seated tensely erect, hands clasped in front of him. Painted in 1916 to 1917, the period of some of Matisse’s most compelling portraits, it was striking even in the company of the Beaubourg’s fetching vision of the actress Greta Prozor, seated in an armchair, and the Guggenheim’s stiffly upright Italian Woman, that strange picture in which the swooping plane of the background threatens to engulf the figure.
The International Art Critics Association, an organization most valuable for its widely accepted press pass, annually asks its members to choose the past years best exhibitions. Nineteen ninety-five had many contenders in the category of painting or sculpture exhibit in a museum: the retrospectives of Cézanne, Mondrian, Brancusi, and Monet, in this country and in Europe, for starters; Goya at the Met or the Anthony Caro retrospective at the new Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.
On Diderot on Art translated by John Goodman.
On “Cézanne” at the Grand Palais, Paris.
On “Claude Monet: 1840-1926” at the Art Institute of Chicago.
On Constantin Brancusi” on view at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, from April 14 through August 21, 1995. It will be seen, in a slightly different version, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 8 through December 31, 1995.
On “The Pictographs of Adolph Gottlieb” opened at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, on April 21, 1995, and remains on view through August 26
On Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist at the Art Institute of Chicago.
A review of Antonioni by William Arrowsmith.
On I Tell My Heart, the Pippin retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series at the Museum of Modern Art.
On Italian Renaissance Architecture: Brunelleschi, Sangallo, Michelangelo at the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
On the Poussin retrospective at the Louvre.
On The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943–1968 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.
More often than not, the history of art is presented in shapely chunks, each “ism” nicely circumscribed and clearly defined, in a neat ideological and chronological progression. But reality is far messier than this orderly structure suggests, the phenomena of period and national style, not to mention the Zeitgeist, notwithstanding.
On the exhibition of Goya sketches at the Art Institute of Chicago.
On Il Disegno del Nostro Secolo at the Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta.
On Louise Bourgeois: The Locus of Memory at the Brooklyn Museum.
On The Age of Rubens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
On Degas Landscapes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
During the past few months, some of the most provocative, difficult, and rewarding art in New York was to be seen in a pair of concurrent exhibitions by a British figurative painter. No, I don’t mean the Lucian Freud shows at Robert Miller Gallery and the Metropolitan, but rather the Euan Uglow exhibitions at Salander–O’Reilly Galleries and the New York Studio School.
On the new Museo Morandi in Bologna.
On Baudelaire’s Voyages: The Poet & His Painters at the Heckshire Museum.
I first became aware of Rebecca Horn through a German-born painter friend. I can’t remember just how long ago it was— ten years.
On Daumier Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On El Taller Torres-García: The School of the South & Its Legacy at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
On Frédéric Bazille: Prophet of Impressionism at the Brooklyn Museum.
On Masterworks from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On Suzy Frelinghuysen and George L.K. Morris.
A review of Beyond the Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto.
It seems only yesterday that Lionel Trilling reported that he had created a sensation—in the cafeterias at Columbia University—by assigning to his students the work of William Dean Howells. What could Professor Trilling have conceivably found of interest—his students wanted to know—in this Victorian purveyor of old-fashioned realism in American fiction.
A review of Eugène Delacroix by Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer.
When Gaston Lachaise died, in 1935 at the age of fifty-three, he was something of a cult figure among a small circle of forward-looking New Yorkers. The French-born sculptor was championed by some of his adopted country’s most progressive artists and supporters of the arts, including the poet e.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is the Aaron Copland of the art world. Like Copland’s, Calder’s work is a baffling combination of rousing all-Americanness and predictable pastiche, of genuine invention and self-indulgent repetition, of unarguable significance and mind-numbing triviality.
Everyone knows about Géricault: the quintessential Romantic painter, le peintre maudit, the misunderstood rebel with the intense personal vision. Everyone knows about his brief, turbulent life: rejected by officialdom, admired by his colleagues, dead at thirty-three and instantly mythologized.
Those cultural dinosaurs among us who persist in believing that paintings and sculptures have something to offer other than politics, sociology, anthropology, or even sex, tend to be skeptical about revisionist enterprises. Nothing is more exciting than having one’s old habits of thought jolted loose by new observations and new information, but, all too often, self-proclaimed new approaches turn out to be predictable attempts to redeem the reputations of second- or third-rate figures, “marginalized,” we are told, because of race, sex, country of origin, class, and all the rest of it.
Ishould say right at the beginning that I was less than enraptured by the prospect of a major Ad Reinhardt show, even by the prospect of the first retrospective of his work to be organized by an important American museum.  Reinhardt is one of those painters I’ve never been passionate about.
In 1963, traveling as students used to during the summer vacation, I found myself in Paris in time for the large exhibition organized by the Louvre to commemorate the centennial of the death of Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). I am sorry to report that this can be described only as a Significant Waste.
Not long ago, I paid my first visit to the Los Angeles-based Eli Broad Family Foundation collection, which, according to its handsome brochure, aims “to serve as a resource to foster the serious study and public understanding of contemporary art. ” Begun about a decade ago, the still-growing collection now numbers some three hundred works by more than seventy-five artists; about 20 percent of it is on view at any given time, in a wonderful, most un-California-like building—a former telephone switching station—a block from the ocean in Santa Monica.
On recent exhibitions of paintings by Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still & Adolph Gottlieb.
Any book announced as “an entirely new vision of modern art’s origins and its subsequent meanings” is bound to raise expectations, even hopes, all the more so when the author is the new director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture of the Museum of Modern Art. I confess I was doubly curious about Kirk Varnedoe’s A Fine Disregard because, despite the author’s considerable reputation, it has been difficult to assess his abilities from his track record of exhibitions and catalogue contributions so far.
A review of A Fine Disregard: What Makes Modern Art Modern by Kirk Varnedoe
I've heard Hans Hofmann spoken of with awe for almost as long as I can remember. A teacher at my high school had studied with him, a fact often repeated to account for her unorthodox methods—even in New York, in those days.
About five years ago, I was in London while a curious exhibition called “The Orientalists” was on at the Royal Academy. There were a few rather fine Delacroixs at the start, and then room upon room of veiled women, fierce warriors, picturesque streetscapes, and naughty glimpses—certainly imaginary— into the seraglio.
The sculptor David Smith (1906-1965) always insisted that he “belonged with painters. ” He probably meant it quite literally.
On the Paris art scene circa Summer 1989.
On Pioneering Cubism at MOMA.
“Helen Frankenthaler: A Paintings Retrospective,” at the Museum of Modern Art this summer, was an event, heralded by ample color spreads in the glossy magazines and a cover story in The New York Times Magazine. There were interviews in Lear’s, in New York Woman, on the Today show, and in the new British art magazine Modern Painters.
The not quite wholly satisfying major exhibition is, alas, becoming a New York standard. Long awaited shows such as last year’s Braque retrospective at the Guggenheim, “Courbet Revisited” at the Brooklyn Museum, or this summer’s survey of Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings at the Museum of Modern Art have turned out to be slightly less marvelous than hoped.
On Refigured Painting: The German Image 1960–1988.
A review of Impressionism: Art, Leisure & Parisian Society by Robert L. Herbert.
What a good idea the Umberto Boccioni retrospective was. Most of us know very little about this founding member of the vociferous Italian avant-garde movement known as Futurism.
I owe Georges Braque a lot. When I was a child, a reproduction of a Braque hung opposite my place at the dining-room table.
Marsden Hartley is one of our best painters, but not long ago he could have been described as an enigmatic presence in the history of this country’s art. Not that he was unrecognized.
Stuart Davis has a sure claim to a place in the history of American art. As early as 1932, he was hailed as “the ace of American modernists” and there is scarcely a museum in the United States that doesn’t boast of at least one of his works.