At this year’s edition of Master Drawings New York, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see works from artists I would never expect to be represented in this fair. While I appreciate the historicity of works that predate the modern and contemporary periods, and the somberly scholastic approach (though some galleries get very inventive with their frames) many of these Upper East Side participant galleries take to conveying this historicity, I just love work that is expressly, formally innovative. I found this especially in the collection of works shown at Driscoll Babcock, which included Titus Kaphar, Nancy Grossman, and Alex Katz. These very different artists were brought together in a special loan exhibition, Drawn Together: Five Centuries of Drawings from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Typically each year the Master Drawing management team draws these loan exhibitions from a museum connected to an academic institution — a wise move that adds freshness and color to a fair that can otherwise often feel cautiously conventional.
In general, there was a good deal more modern work in this year’s showing than I recall seeing in previous years. This development may have to do with the recent drift in the art museum circle towards exhibitions that either include modern or contemporary art or make explicit the connections between earlier work and how we live now.
Some of the highlights of the fair for me, besides the aforementioned Driscoll Babcock exhibition, include a Franz Kline oil on paper piece with his telltale black, calligraphic line, but also errant oil stains, perhaps from being inattentively stored by the artist. The gallerist, Jill Newhouse, told me that those stains actually help to authenticate the piece. Also, in her gallery (and also, like the Kline, nonchalantly displayed on a chair) was an acrylic painting on paper by Adolph Gottlieb. At Mireille Mosler’s space there were several hauntingly lovely pieces by the Belgian symbolist painter Xavier Mellery. The paintings depict a peculiar 19th-century culture isolated on the Netherlands island of Marken where all the natives, regardless of social standing, once wore the same traditional costumes.
Lastly there was an intensely dark work of conté crayon on Ingres paper by Georges Seurat titled “La pluie” [The rain] (1882-83) which shows a figure holding an umbrella while the scene around her is filled with an inundation of cross-stitched markings that almost blot out all the light, except for a sliver coming through at the top of the composition. That’s how it felt to me walking through the incessant rain on Saturday. The rain covers everything and almost blots the city out, and then I enter a gallery and there’s a small, illuminated bit of beauty once again.
The 2020 edition of Master Drawings New York (MDNY) continues through Saturday, February 1st, at various galleries on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The settlement comes after Tate prevented an artist who exposed sexual harassment by one of its largest donors from co-curating an exhibition.
Let’s be honest: On a best bathrooms list, no one wants to be number two.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Advocacy groups are pushing for a 5% royalty in resales, which would pertain even after the artist dies, in which case the funds would go to their estate.
This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The absence of an explicit framing of American art, in all of its diversity, as a visual culture of empire distorts and hampers our ability to understand — and reimagine — our social world.
The gap between the material body and the psychological one, which we all too often take for granted, is one of the underlying themes of Hiro’s exhibition.
David Rios Ferreira and Denae Shanidiin join forces to bring awareness to the plight of Indigenous women and girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Metrograph’s series The Process features films that were either directed by Robert M. Young or made with the help of Irving Young’s postproduction facility.
Memes depicting a sinister, all-powerful Joe Biden alter ego are sweeping the internet, and the Democratic establishment is loving it.