Is an exhibition ever too beautiful for its own good? Jenny Holzer’s new show at Cheim & Read, Dust Paintings, is ravishing. But the sensuality of these text-based abstractions, done in oil on linen in mostly muted colors, runs counter to their content, which is derived from declassified government reports of brutalization and death during the Afghan War.
There are currently two exhibitions of Joan Mitchell’s paintings and drawings on the same Chelsea street. Taken together, they offer an extended examination of a painter’s process as her sensibilities shift from a dominant mode expression to something altogether different.
Pat Steir cut her teeth in the 1970s and went on to become part of the fabric of the New York art world. From her quasi-conceptual paintings of that decade to the Waterfall paintings of the late ’80s, Steir has long been something of a ubiquitous presence — but, like many of her generation, she also hasn’t received the due she deserves.
Before there were the New Casualists, there were the Provisional Painters, and before there were the Provisional Painters, there were the 1980s.
Years ago, Al Held invited me to his place in Boiceville, New York, to see two large paintings that he had all but completed. They were immense, brightly colored works in which geometric forms floated, weightless.