Sarah Cowan

Post image for For the Harvard Art Museums, a Top-to-Bottom Renovation and Rethinking

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On a warm day in June six years ago, the front doors of the Fogg Museum closed quietly. There was no banner reading “Closing Day” on Quincy Street at the edge of Harvard Yard, no ceremony, no press, no speech. At five o’clock, museum visitors shuffled out the exit in droves, toting travel books and the last discounted souvenirs.

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Post image for Alternative Media: Software and Video in 1970s Counterculture

In the midst of laments that the shared culture of television is dwindling – that charming picture of a nuclear family gathered around the TV set outshone by the glow of individual screens — “Send Blank Tape,” an installation at Pioneer Works, is providing an alternative communal viewing experience.

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Post image for Saul Steinberg Decodes the Symbols of Society

Plastered on the title wall of Saul Steinberg’s 100th Anniversary Exhibition at Pace Gallery is an impenetrable photographic self-portrait.

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Galleries

Polly Apfelbaum Plays with Pattern

by Sarah Cowan on August 1, 2014

'Polly Apfelbaum: A Handweaver's Pattern Book' at Clifton Benevento

Among the sleek catalogues at the entrance to the Clifton Benevento Gallery sits a tattered hardcover, its paper jacket ripped to reveal the plain binding. This is artist Polly Apfelbaum’s copy of A Handweaver’s Pattern Book.

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Post image for The Yams Collective’s Collage of Black Experience

There was no mention of the Whitney Museum or the Biennial, of Joe Scanlan, Donelle Woolford, or Michelle Grabner on the microphone at alternative arts space Freecandy last Thursday night.

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Post image for Searching for Jay DeFeo (Again)

A show like the one currently up at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which homes in on Jay DeFeo’s post-“Rose” output until her death in 1989, is still direly important.

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Galleries

Collaging Art History in the Kitchen

by Sarah Cowan on March 24, 2014

Post image for Collaging Art History in the Kitchen

Suffering from inner ear problems possibly related to the chemicals in the black-and-white photographic process, and urged further by the extinction of Kodak film, Jed Devine has turned to (gasp!) digital, and what’s more, to color. He might as well be working in a different medium altogether.

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Galleries

Seeing Calder Through His Shadows

by Sarah Cowan on December 17, 2013

Post image for Seeing Calder Through His Shadows

When I was little I went to the Whitney Museum over and over to see “Cirque Calder,” Alexander Calder’s three-dimensional cartoon of performers preening, frozen in mise-en-scène. Walking into Calder Shadows, on view at Venus Over Manhattan, I felt the same childish camaraderie with the artist, only this time it held fear of the bogeyman.

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Galleries

All the Art That’s Fit to Print

by Sarah Cowan on October 14, 2013

Post image for All the Art That’s Fit to Print

It’s not clear who scooped whom, but there are two gallery shows now on view in New York that examine the relationship between art and the newspaper.

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Post image for Without Beginning or End: Yves Klein’s Monotone-Silence Symphony

Last Wednesday, the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church was filled with an unlikely congregation of strangers: from art insiders to the media-savvy lucky enough to snag a ticket to Yves Klein’s Monotone-Silence Symphony.

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