The Age of Small Things, a group show organized by the painter Chuck Webster, fills the ground floor of the Lower East Side’s Dodge Gallery, where the singular touch of the artist-curator has recast a parade of diminutive objects into an unpredictable unfolding of processes and ideas.
BASEL, Switzerland — Fifty-five years ago, the exhibition The New American Painting arrived at the Kunsthalle Basel. It was the first stop on a yearlong tour that touted the work of seventeen Abstract Expressionists before eight European countries — the first comprehensive exhibition to be sent to Europe showing the advanced tendencies in American painting. All but five of the original artists from the show had work on view at last weekend’s Art Basel, where postwar American painting and sculpture dominated the halls.
Thomas Nozkowski wasn’t thinking about Philip Guston’s “Untitled” (1980) while he was working on “Untitled (9-21)” (2012), but the number of formal attributes they share — from size to composition and imagery — has proven hard for me to ignore. It was while I was looking at Nozkowski’s “Untitled (9-21)” at his exhibition at Russell Bowman Art Advisory (April 12 – June 15, 2013) in Chicago that a specific Guston work came to mind. Shortly after I got back to New York, I checked to see whether or not my memory had been playing tricks on me. It hadn’t.
There is still a story to be told about Philip Guston (1913–1980) and Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), who met at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles in 1929, and were expelled the following year for handing out a broadside that ridiculed the English faculty for their conservatism. Pollock was later readmitted to the school, but Guston never went back. It is a story about acceptance and rejection.
MIAMI — Entering into the cavernous mouth of an art fair, it’s pretty easy to know what to expect — some blue-chip art, some provocative booths, and a few rare modernist works sprinkled throughout the contemporary avalanche. Thankfully, there are usually a few pleasant surprises. Here are ten works I actually enjoyed seeing at Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) 2012.
CHICAGO — Of all the museums in Chicago, the one that keeps surprising me and making me go back is the Museum of Contemporary Art.
CHICAGO — The Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago is currently showing a fascinating series of collaborations between visual artists and writers such as Robert Creeley, Philip Guston, Larry Rivers, Karen Randall and Jim Dine. Poems and Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book (1946-1981) is a useful and concrete example of the most basic form of interdisciplinary art — combining words and images produced by the highest practitioners of those forms, to observe “the extraordinary occasions when these things and activities fuse, introducing a third element,” as the well-written curator’s essay puts it.
Franklin Parrasch Gallery’s exhibition Rita Ackermann + Philip Guston is the third in a series of two-artist, cross-generational shows. Included in this show are two works on paper by Guston (dating from 1966 and 1971), and a new painting by Ackermann (2012).
Tomorrow, Swann auction house will be presenting a sale, “Atelier 17, Abstract Expressionism & the New York School,” which showcases the prints of the Abstract Expressionist era that are often overlooked because the larger, flashier paintings inevitably grab the spotlight. The sale has a particular emphasis on the co-operative printmaking workshop Atelier 17, which was started in the Paris studio of English painter and draughtsman Stanley William Hayter in 1927. When World War II began, Hayter fled Paris for London and eventually settled in New York after a very short stay in California during the 1940s. The first New York incarnation of Atelier 17 popped up at the New School of Social Research but eventually the studio found a home at 41 East 8th Street in the heart of artistic Greenwich Village. Jackson Pollock lived across the street.
Artist Patrick Smith’s Windosill, a Flash-based video game that’s playable in your internet browser, is a fascinating work both for its slow, subtle game play and its visual inspirations, namely proto-Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico’s empty landscapes and Philip Guston’s still-life paintings.
At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ new Wing of the Americas, the story of American art is told over the course of four floors, ranging from colonial and indigenous art through modernism. Stopping before contemporary, the third floor above ground level is the home of American modernism. The opening gallery of the floor tells a story that’s neither comprehensive nor diverse, instead presenting a kind of multifaceted, unfocused face to greet the public. How does this hanging impact the works on view in the gallery, and museum-goers’ experience of the art?