September 18, 2007

NYTimes art reviews: Franks, Frankfort, de Balincourt, Calame

"NATALIE FRANK: Where She Stops," Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY. Through Oct. 13. Martha Schwendener reports: "The real friction here comes from seeing a painter in her 20s exhibiting works in Chelsea that look like work you would see in traditionalist strongholds on 57th Street. The implication is that there’s something radical in Ms. Frank’s approach to painting vaguely allegorical tableaus with dwarfs and foreshortened figures. But really there is not." Read more.

"DANA FRANKFORT: DF," Bellwether, New York, NY. Through Oct. 6. Roberta Smith reports: "The best works move decisively beyond the monochromatic, as in the slurred lavenders, oranges and reds of 'Possibly Permanent' and 'Stuff' and the lavender and chartreuse of 'A Lot of Stuff.' But the color combinations may have thrown off the paint handling, which is harried and splintery; it suggests a parody of Expressionism and genuine emotional turmoil. Ms. Frankfort has put down stakes where painting and language meet, but a greater effort is needed. By now, that intersection has seen a lot of very impressive traffic." Read more.

"JULES DE BALINCOURT: Unknowing Man's Nature,"
Zach Feuer, New York, NY. Through Oct. 13. Karen Rosenberg reports: "The back rooms retreat into a too-familiar faux-naïveté via misspelled text, oddly placed works and a distracting sculpture of an erupting volcano. Tiny figures (natives? eco-tourists?) frolic beneath a waterfall in one of a series of tropical landscapes, oblivious to the crudely rendered subject of 'Holy Arab' gazing down from the adjacent wall....With his move to Europe, Mr. de Balincourt seems to have distanced himself from the folksy Americana of his earlier work; his challenge is to retain some of that intimacy and urgency without resorting to awkwardness."Read more.


"INGRID CALAME," James Cohan, New York, NY. Through Oct. 13. Karen Rosenberg reports: "The second and less pretentious group, commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, pairs the river tracings with skid marks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The tire tracks, as in the diagonal swath of pale yellow that cuts through 'From No. 271 Drawing' (2007), add interest to Ms. Calame’s repertory of splats and spatters....Otherwise, there is little here to distinguish these paintings and drawings from her previous efforts, or her two new bodies of work from each other. A process — stain-collecting — that should convey a specific sense of place somehow winds up effacing it."Read more.