Art Review

Standing on a Beach

David Salle: New Paintings
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC

It was not that long ago that David Salle seemed to strike a collective nerve with his simulations of paintings: for some, he resurrected Painting; for others he fucked its necrotic corpse. Among critics he was praised for revivifying the art form, along with his colleagues Julian Schnabel and Eric Fischl, and vilified by feminist critics for his reified soft-core porn subject matter. Artist and writers such as Peter Halley and Mira Schor drew up highly articulate sides in the battlefields that Salle called paintings. Read more »

Transience Is the Meaning: Gary Stephan

Gary Stephan's recent one-person exhibitions include those at the Baumgartner Gallery; Cristinerose Gallery; Mary Boone Gallery; Diane Brown Gallery; and the Margo Leavin Gallery, CA. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Grant, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant. Read more »

Horizon Lines Lost and Found

Sandra Lee Eula: Two Waters (Seeds in a Wild Garden)

It's an April day, actually Palm Sunday, and my mind is on how the warm sun and cool air meet on the surface of my skin, creating a brew of sentimental storm of dawn and departure. The morning's gauzy mist lifted to reveal lines – lines from my window panes, yellow lane dividers, disappearing train tracks, and sinuous subway lines that deliver me to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's front step to witness artist Sandra Eula Lee’s Two Waters (Seeds in a Wild Garden). Read more »

American Caesar

Jasper Johns
New Sculpture and Works on Paper

Woody Allen once said that he didn't want to achieve immortality through his art; he wanted to achieve it through not dying. The octogenarian Jasper Johns has seemingly pulled off the ultimate trick, managing to do both. Read more »

Tyson vs. Bacon

Nicola Tyson responds to the work of Francis Bacon, now on view at The Helly Nahmad Gallery, NY through June 18. Ms. Tyson will be reading from her collected letters at the Fredrich Petzel Gallery, NY, May 18.

Dear Bacon,

I’m sick and tired of how often my work is compared to yours! OK, there was a stage in my student years when I got myself embroiled in an S&M relationship with your work. Well not quite...what I mean is, I was seduced into wanting to be a top to your bottom, or rather I wanted to top your painterly top, except that you weren’t really a top...except that all tops are really also bottoms, except I don’t want my bottom smacked so I must just be a top. Read more »


Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

In Round Two, Ms. Tyson steps back into the ring, this time with Édouard Manet, whose exhibit at the d’Orsay, Paris, runs through July 3rd.

Dear Manet,

Phew! I really get it why you are so influential on pondering your suave painterly maneuvers, and I'm not being flippant! Were you quite simply the first person to be cool in Art History?? It's a given that you are Archival Gold, and that when the World ends (...a year from now) your stuff will have been loaded onto the exit spaceship, and rightly so. Read more »

Head Like a Hole

Sascha Braunig
Foxy Production, NYC
Through April 30, 2011

Sascha Braunig's debut solo exhibition at Foxy Production is a quiet, understated affair, in perfect accord with her diminutive, portrait-like paintings. Braunig approaches the practice of the studio portrait from a different angle: she creates imaginary subjects, though rendered with a convincing, surrealist precision. Like the French Academic still-life painter Chardin, Braunig eschews heroic subject matter, concentrating on the simple portrait, rendered life-sized, on small, unframed canvases. And with quite powerful results. Read more »

World of Skin

Berlinde De Bruyckere: Into One-Another to P.P.P.
Hauser & Wirth, NYC

Through April 23, 2011

"What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! How like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, no, nor woman neither...." Hamlet's despair. The existential dilemma. Before his untimely death at the hands of a trick gone bad, the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (The Gospel According to Matthew, Accattone!, and Salo) captured the ruins of post-WWII Italy -- and the metaphoric inner decay of its people -- by showing the beauty of man corrupted. Belgium artist Berlinde De Bruyckere pays homage to Pasolini and the history of Northern Renaissance masters in the exhibit Into One-Another to P.P.P. currently at Hauser & Wirth, New York. Read more »

Night in the Ruts

Karen Kilimnik: my walk in the woods at night
303 Gallery, NYC
Through April 23, 2011

We can feel the slipping away of old forms of knowledge, of practice, of gathering the necessary information. How vast was our collective iconography once. Ancient ceramic and stone epics from Greece and Rome, Prussia, and Egypt. The vivid Christian depictions of the Middle Ages; stories told through symbols: the Ox for Luke, the Lion for Mark, the Eagle for John. The serpent, the peacock, the cross and crown. Masaccio's "Adam and Eve" or Goya, with his Caprichos, transmitted something essential about our existence -- a record, getting a bead on something, and lesson, all at once. Picasso's "Guernica" was possibly the last work to make such a statement. Or Julian Schnabel's series "The Recognitions." Read more »

Tyson vs. Picasso

Jonathan Richman sang, "No one ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole." This probably wasn't entirely true. In any case, the talented and witty painter Nicola Tyson weighs in on Picasso, whose Guitars are now on view at MoMA.


Dear Picasso,

A journalist recently asked me if as a female figurative painter -- as opposed to just a figurative painter -- I’d been influenced by you, which I thought is a bit like asking if my diet had been influenced by Monsanto. Unavoidable. Read more »

Come on Pilgrim

David Sandlin
Donnell Library Window Space, NYC
Through March 27, 2011

The painter Veronese was summoned before the Inquisition in 1573 to answer to charges of blasphemy. In a painting of The Last Supper he represented worldly things in addition to the spiritual. Among his figures was a dog, which constituted the blasphemy for which he was being charged. A decade earlier the Council of Trent had declared what was iconography for these religious scenes, and a dog clearly was not among the list of appropriate subjects. Read more »

Poker Face

Cézanne’s Card Players
Metropolitan Museum, NYC
Through May 8, 2011

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's small survey of Cézanne's Card Players series highlights three versions or variations of the seminal painting. Although it is indisputable that much of Cézanne's concerns in this group of works -- indeed in much of his painting -- were formal ones, here we see into these pieces something of the psychology that Picasso and Giacometti called "Cézanne’s anxiety." Read more »

Heart-Shaped Box

Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Through June 6, 2011

In the course of only a few years, Pablo Picasso and his friend and colleague Georges Braque revolutionized painting through the development of Cubist Abstraction. Around 1912 or 1913 Picasso seems to have made a leap from the two-dimensional collages -- a technique Braque had pioneered -- bringing his own personal style of metamorphosis into three dimensions. Picasso's art, which seldom left the tether of a human or figurative referent, found a perfect metaphor in the form of the guitar. Read more »

Slanted and Enchanted

Lynda Benglis
New Museum, NYC
Through June 19, 2011

Since the late '60s, Benglis has been making objects and creating performance works that nominally were developing a feminist slant on Minimalist and Process art — nominally being the key word here. Although her work incorporated many of the basic tenets of the movement, there was always something inherently sexual permeating the material nature of her work. Beginning with her early latex pour pieces, Fallen Paintings (1968), which removed the medium from the canvas and let it pool sensuously over the floor, to the more literal "Smile" (1974), a cast-lead double dildo that she famously posed with — inserted — for an Artforum ad, these early works, as well as single-channel videos (Female Sensibility, 1973) and sets of Polaroids of her and her cohort, Robert Morris, drew a fine line between the discipline of Minimalism and the discipline of Discipline. Read more »

My Name Is...

Josh Smith
Luhring Augustine Gallery, NYC
Through March 19, 2011

There was a time, not that long ago, when we thought about art as an extension of ourselves. We spoke of a body politic, a body of work, a signature style. Josh Smith took this way of thinking about style and the artist quite literally: he painted semi-abstract paintings of his name on the canvas. Although this end-run around a long history of painterly thought could have remained a one-liner, Smith's recent works at Luhring Augustine show him in the process of developing a larger vocabulary out of this initial framework. Read more »

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