An old college friend once rented a townhouse in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, from a retired spook who, in his later years, had taken up the avocation of painting. All he painted were phone booths, in a realist style that played primarily with light, and the house’s walls were covered in the vaguely creepy results. God knows what recesses of his psyche compelled him to put public telephones to canvas, but it was no doubt an interest cultivated by a certain rotten gentility, an insipid appreciation of painting as an aristocratic diversion for purifying the mind in its waning years (he was a Groton man) — respite and absolution after a lifetime of unpleasant business.
Similarly, it was recently announced that the 43rd president of the United States, the reluctant blue blood George W. Bush, would have a retrospective of his “paintings” at his Robert A. M. Stern-designed Presidential Library in Texas, titled The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy. Though this is just the kind of soft story that reverberates in the media under the various guises of knowing snark, journalistic curiosity, or a sycophant’s reverence, the man’s atrocious paintings are not harmless distractions. Certain schools of criticism, or certain unschooled critics, might have you think otherwise, but sometimes an art object can only be assessed through its creator, especially if this person was once the most powerful man on the planet. Bush can paint a thousand puppies, or render himself in a bathtub brimming with his own crocodile tears, but that will never change the status of such works as the artifacts of a repulsive criminal, and a stain upon all honest art.
Presidents have painted before, but that doesn’t make this denunciation any less earned. Bush’s diplomacy was bloody, criminal, and disastrous; his “personal diplomacy” is of the same murderous hand.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
Murch’s painted dust can be so tangible you feel compelled to wipe off the picture.
“As we grieve her loss, we call for full accountability for the perpetrators of this crime and everyone involved in authorizing it,” they wrote in an open letter.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The planned center will be named after Fred Rouse, a Black man who was lynched in the city of Fort Worth in 1921.
The researchers found that when eyes meet, certain areas of the brain start experiencing “neural firing.”
Curated by Clare Dolan, this solo exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ contains new and unearthed paintings, sculptures, and prints selected from the organization’s 60-year history.
From 1968 to 1973, the Nihon Documentarist Union did radical documentary work in Japan. They made two films in Okinawa before, during, and after its reversion.
Every corner and crevice of Columbia University’s MFA Thesis show feels lived in, reflecting not just artists’ experience quarantining with their work, but also that of re-entering society.
Sprawling across the Joshua Tree region, nine site-specific works consider the ways in which people have relocated to the desert, destroying what came before them, and cultivating new life.