PHILADELPHIA — Talking about the limitations of photography, painter David Hockney said that art “must deeply involve an observer whose body somehow has to be brought back in.” At the time, he was pessimistic about the medium’s possibilities. Enter Barbara Kasten.
Rackstraw Downes doesn’t seem like a radical. He is an understated Englishman who paints understated American landscapes. But when you think about how much of modern and contemporary art relies on juxtaposition or exaggeration for effects, Downes’s approach begins to seem downright revolutionary. “My idea is to paint the real nature of the world, which is always a complex mixture of things,” he told a packed auditorium at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, during a talk last month.
William Kentridge was a failure. By his own account, the South African artist racked up a long list of impressive defeats before succeeding as a draftsman and animator. Before the opening of his current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art Kentridge gave a lecture on “Drawing Lessons” at the New York Studio School.