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Ed Paschke’s Portraits of Brooding and Tortured Souls

Ed Paschke (1939-2004), who is considered a Chicago Imagist, is one of the important painters to emerge from America’s heartland in the late 1960s that New York has never fully embraced. One reason for this resistance is his lifelong interest in misfits and the creepy flipside of celebrity, which implicitly critiqued Andy Warhol’s love affair with pop idols and glamour.

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Sigmar Polke’s Sad, Sinister Little Movie of a Monkey and a Bear

A little more than a week after sitting on a short, narrow bench and watching a video projection of Sigmar Polke’s 34:38-minute 16mm film, “Quetta’s Hazy Blue Sky (Quetta’s blauer dunstiger Himmel)/ Afghanistan-Pakistan” (c. 1974-76), I returned to the exhibition, Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010, currently at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, determined to watch the same film again.

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Single Point Perspective: An Arcadian Moment in the Heart of New York’s Lower East Side

For anyone interested in poetry (not the same as verse); underknown art and artists; the artists and poets of the New York School after the death of Franz Kline and Frank O’Hara; collaboration; collage; a do-it-yourself spirit; the Lower East Side (particularly from the late 1960s until the late ‘80s, decades before it was gentrified); and the persistence of bohemian life, despite all the efforts to stamp it out, the exhibition A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman, thoughtfully curated by Bill Berkson and Ron Padgett at Poets House, is a must-see.

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Greg Smith’s Amazing Eleven-Minute Road Trip

From Ulysses and Arjuna to Sir Galahad, Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, Jack Kerouac and, more recently, Greg Smith, the quest (or road trip) for redemption, transformation, utopia, or just some very good peach-and-banana ice cream is a theme that spans world culture, from great literature to bad movies, with lots of stops in-between.

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The Beauty of Howardena Pindell’s Rage

As much as Howardena Pindell’s unstretched paintings and drawings share something with the Pattern and Decoration movement, or with monochromatic abstraction, color field painting, all-over painting, fiber art, the counting work of Roman Opalka, and the spot paintings of Larry Poons, what elevates them above all of these aesthetic and stylistic connections is her subtle infusion of a deep and palpable rage.

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Julian Schnabel’s Formula for Greatness

Since Julian Schnabel first gained attention with his broken plate paintings in the 1980s, he has been predisposed to working on found surfaces – animal skins, velvet, corduroy, sail cloth, tarpaulins, canvas flooring from boxing rings, wallpaper, navigation maps, flags, Kabuki theater backdrops, and photosensitive canvases – which help disguise the fact that he can’t draw in paint and doesn’t really have much feel for paint’s potentiality.