In the years when I taught an undergraduate art history survey course, I would invariably encounter a student who wanted to know how ancient builders could have produced structures of such precision as the Giza pyramids without the aid of laser devices.
As my entry into the art world took place just a few years after the Museum of Modern Art’s 1970 Information show, I’ve grown increasingly conscious of an unexpected turn in the positions of several hard-line members of the once aggressively anti-aesthetic conceptual camp.
WEST HARRISON, NY — As galleries and museums are for practical reasons limited to exhibitions of modest duration, alternatives are perennially sought by artists, often leading them to less than suitable locations like restaurants, offices, and corporate lobbies.
Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery, on view in the East Gallery of the Frick Collection, is a gathering of ten paintings analogous to the cohort of masterpieces in the Frick’s adjacent West Gallery. Visitors are left free to consider each as representing a unique, if not significant moment in each artist’s career.
Dana Saulnier’s ostensibly expressionist canvases at First Street Gallery carry a bravado reminiscent at first glance of mid-century abstraction. Yet they flaunt an obvious distance from their Action painting precursors by the employment of allusive figural references.
With much of the art population out of town for the summer, the city’s galleries are understandably disinclined to mount thoughtful shows. Gleanings from the back room will usually suffice for the sparse summer clientele ducking in from overheated sidewalks. But there are always exceptions.
It is tempting to feel you’ve subdued nature when a hand-held device allows you to peruse newspapers from Beirut to Sydney, or purchase an airline seat that will get you to either city the next day. Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on what we now refer to as your GPS coordinates — there are remedies for such technological conceits.
While touring a few of the many small exhibition spaces scattered throughout the city, I was pleasantly reminded that painting requires neither heroic-sized canvases nor the prestige of whitewashed airplane hangars to succeed as significant art.
Larry Poons’s recent paintings at Danese/Corey not only show him producing significant work as he approaches his eighties, but, unlike others of his age, Poons has refused to step gracefully behind his younger colleagues. He continues to work vigorously, and he has instinctively kept pace with painters years behind himself.
Forty years passed between my first hearing about Peter Heinemann’s self-portraits and my actually getting a chance to see them. A number are currently installed in a garret-like room at the National Academy Museum as one of several posthumous inclusions in the group exhibition See it Loud: Seven Post-War Painters.