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Posted inArt

Thomas Nozkowski and Philip Guston Talk to Each Other Without Knowing It

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.

Posted inArt

A Truly Subversive Artist Is Not Necessarily Someone Who Is Theatrical or Gimmicky

If there is one constant about Thomas Nozkowski that I would single out, it is his lifelong insistence on subverting conventions. In 1974 he began painting on canvas board measuring 16 by 20 inches. (Let’s be clear here — Bill Jensen never painted on this small a surface because it had no historical precedence). He used an inexpensive, mass-produced product, the same kind that comes in “paint by number” kits and carries associations with “Sunday painters.” No wonder his defiance went largely unnoticed, particularly when the ’80s rolled around.

Posted inArt

Sassily Serious and Seriously Sassy

I set out with the intention of seeing these shows, so I wouldn’t call it synchronicity, but the simultaneous exhibitions of David Goerk and Martha Clippinger in the same building, just one floor apart, did get me thinking about art making that is concerned with the realm between painting and sculpture — from della Robbia’s bas reliefs to early modernism (Hans Arp) to contemporary art (Stuart Arends, Ellsworth Kelly, Jim Lee, and Richard Tuttle).