Every now and then we realize how much we live in a digital mirage. Take Baker Overstreet’s show at Fredericks & Freiser. Although this is the artist’s fourth solo in New York, I hadn’t yet seen his work in the flesh, my only exposure being images and reviews.Continue Reading →
The final installment of Julian Schnabel 1978–1981, the rotating exhibition of four of the artist’s early works, has arrived with “Abstract Painting on Blue Velvet” (1980). If you’re seeking closure, however, I doubt that you will find it here.Continue Reading →
It’s safe to say that Twilit Ensembles, Paul D’Agostino’s solo show at Pocket Utopia, is one of the more disorienting, even vertiginous exhibitions around. There are pairs of process-driven, not-quite-identical abstract paintings; mixed-media collages that evoke the Art informel and Affichiste strains of postwar European art; and groupings of resin sculptures and high-contrast charcoal drawings whose gargoyle-like characters and hallucinatory narratives are derived from the paint stains on D’Agostino’s studio floor.Continue Reading →
I’m rarely taken aback by a Matisse. The reasons admittedly have more to do with personal taste than with aesthetic discernment, in particular an overriding interest in architectonic structure; in the “Matisseite” and “Picassoite” factions dividing Gertrude Stein’s pre-World War I salon, I would have definitely chosen the latter.Continue Reading →
As an undergraduate, I took a seminar in contemporary art issues conducted by the theater designer Robert Israel, who once mused about coming across one of Robert Rauschenberg’s 1950s-era combines in a collector’s pristine white apartment. The artwork, composed of recycled scraps of garbage, “looked like it was peeing all over the place.”Continue Reading →
By Monday, the reality of the mandated reductions in government spending, otherwise known as sequestration, had begun to sink in. For its part, the New York Times announced, to no one’s surprise, “the split between American workers and the companies that employ them is widening and could worsen in the next few months as federal budget cuts take hold.”Continue Reading →
“The Patients and the Doctors” (1978) is Julian Schnabel’s first plate painting. It is also the title of a prose poem/essay he wrote for the February 1984 issue of Artforum, a ham-fisted manifesto that did little to dispel his reputation for defensive bluster.Continue Reading →
Leo Steinberg (1920–2011) was the rare scholar with the ability to alter the way we think about art, history and culture, and, inferentially, the things we create.
“The Eye Is a Part of the Mind” is the title of an essay first published in 1953 in Partisan Review and later in Steinberg’s landmark collection, Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art (Oxford, 1972).
In the essay, Steinberg seeks to “show that representation is a central esthetic function in all art; and that the formalist esthetic, designed to champion the new abstract trend, was largely based on a misunderstanding and an underestimation of the art it set out to defend.”Continue Reading →
Is it possible to look at Julian Schnabel’s “St. Sebastian” (1979) with fresh eyes, as if the past 34 years of Schnabel Sturm und Schnabel Drang never really happened? As if it were a new painting fresh out of an unknown artist’s studio, landing inconspicuously in a storefront gallery on East 10th Street between 2nd and 1st?Continue Reading →
You could look at Environmental Service’s exhibition, What is Yours is Mine, as a maximalist spin on Robert Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning Drawing” (1953). But you’d be wrong.Continue Reading →