June 29, 2007

17th-century painter's farmhouse studio faces the wrecking ball

In the Observer, Vanessa Thorpe reports that the farmhouse of Mary Beale, a British pioneer and a leading female painter in England, is threatened by real estate developers. "Beale's art, enthusiasts argue, is too significant to allow the loss of a centre dedicated to celebrating her life and work. She is seen as a beacon by feminists and women artists because she succeeded in what had been until then the exclusively male world of portrait painting." Read more. See images of her work at the Tate Online

The dirtiness of desire

In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones scrutinizes the Lucas Cranach exhibition at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London: "Lucas Cranach was not the first artist to paint women naked, but he may be the first to have made it obvious he wanted to go to bed with them. With his taste for stagey sadomasochism - he painted Judith and Salomé as snake-eyed slayers of men - and his penchant for tight-laced garments, he was the Helmut Newton of the 16th century." Read more. Temptation in Eden: Cranach's Adam and Eve is at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, until September 23.

Activist artists protest the relentless commercialization of street art

Colin Moynihan reports on the splashers' manifesto in the NYTimes: "In a series of essays and in text that appeared under the headline 'Interview With Myself' the anonymous authors said that the splashings were committed not by an individual but by a group of men and women, and offered some explanation of their motives. The authors wrote that street art was 'a bourgeoisie-sponsored rebellion' that helped pave the way for gentrification, and called it 'utterly impotent politically and fantastically lucrative for everyone involved.'" Read more.

June 20, 2007

BOMB Blog: Waterland Diaries by Joe Fyfe

"BOMB contributing editor Joe Fyfe is a painter and writer who has had solo shows of his paintings in New York, Paris, and Ho Chi Minh City. He has written for Arts AsiaPacific and Art on Paper and regularly writes for Gay City News, Art in America, and Artcritical.com. Fyfe is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner award and recently won a Fulbright Award to research contemporary art in Cambodia and Vietnam. He is currently living in Vietnam, where his solo show 'Homage to Hanoi' is on view at the Ryllega Gallery. Following are excerpts from his journal about his experiences in Southeast Asia." Read Joe's blog. See Joe's art.

June 19, 2007

Damien Hirst's kid could have painted that

Maurice Chittenden in the Times Online: "When Sir Trevor Nunn, the theatre director, paid £27,000 for a painting he thought he was getting a genuine Damien Hirst. Then one night at the theatre he found out that he and his wife, the actress Imogen Stubbs, had bought a painting by two children aged 10 and two. The painting had been done by Hirst’s son Connor, who was two at the time, and his 10-year-old friend Alfie Allen." Read more.

Dan Perjovschi scales the walls at MoMa

Andrea K. Scott on Dan Perjovschi in the NYTimes: "You might not guess it, but the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi was formally trained as a still-life painter in a Soviet-style art academy in Romania. The turmoil of the late ’80s prompted him to question the medium’s relevance. In an interview with Ms. Marcoci (available on moma.org), he explains: 'Water was freezing in the glass, no soap, no books and no future. How could one paint that?' A section of his wall drawing reiterates the dilemma: Two heads flank a square labeled “Still Life”; one reads, 'Van Eyck,' and the other, 'Food!'"Read more.

June 17, 2007

Edith Newhall reviews painting shows in Philadelphia

Joy Feasley and Clare Rojas at the Locks Gallery; Tim McFarlane at Bridgette Mayer Gallery. Read more.

June 15, 2007

Robert Ryman in conversation with Phong Bui

After his last show, No Title Required, at Pace Gallery uptown, painter Robert Ryman welcomed Brooklyn Rail Publisher Phong Bui to his West Village studio to talk about his recent paintings and other related work. Read more.

June 13, 2007

Margaret Murphy presents "The Ballerina Project" at Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia

Gallery info. "Good Girls/Bad Girls," another Murphy exhibition, is at Cheryl McGinnis Gallery in NYC. "Third-generation feminist artist Margaret Murphy paints images of kitschy mass produced 99-cent store figurines that challenge the shifting contexts of female stereotypes of fundamentally 'good' or 'bad.'" Read more.

June 11, 2007

David Hockney slams Tracey Emin's Venice Biennale paintings

Nigel Reynolds talks to Hockney about the state of British painting: "When asked what he thought about Emin’s paintings, he replied: 'They’re OK, but you don’t remember them too well.' With uncharacteristic nuance, the normally blunt Yorkshire artist went on: 'You always see photos of Tracey (in the papers), not of her paintings. I’d rather have photos of my pictures in the papers, not me.' " Read more in the Telegraph.

In US museums this month

Artnet's listing of summer museum exhibitions includes Richard Diebenkorn at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM; "The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings" at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; and "The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso" at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TXRead more.

June 8, 2007

The body of colour

"Hélio Oiticica's work is as vivid and fluttering as an origami bird - but in his short lifetime, he proved himself to be a serious and influential artist," says Adrian Searle in The Guardian. Read more.

Abraham Orden's guide to current NYC shows

"Painters still look, as Monet looked, but there aren’t many around who look and nothing but. Painting is no longer just painting; now it is always 'painting after' something, as in 'painting after photography...'"Read more at artnet.com.

June 7, 2007

I need a Gabo

In Flash Art online, Patricia Ellis recounts her visit with Gabo in his East London studio. "Though you’d never guess it from his demeanor, the quiet guy with the specs paints like a man possessed: fields of bright colors engulf his canvases with edgy aggression, interrupted with hurried swipes, obsessive gestures and globular splotches. Unwieldy, messy, clumsy, awkward and entirely unpredictable, they regurgitate the stuff of everyday experience with a raw naïve energy, as if trying to comprehend the world for the first time." Read more.

June 4, 2007

David Gonzalez and the rights of graffiti muralists

"Privacy might seem like an odd desire for these professional graffiti muralists whose works adorn everything from bodegas and medical vans to playgrounds and public schools. But they have been serious about controlling their work ever since a number of their aerosol tableaus were photographed — without their permission — for a book and an exhibit on the murals of New York City." Read more.

Neo Rauch at the Met

Roberta Smith in the NYTimes: "Mr. Rauch’s dreams may be unlike any dreamed before, but they have not enabled him, as yet, to develop an individual style....The tendency of Mr. Rauch’s paintings to remain an assembly of more or less — or a lot less — interesting parts rather than resolving into convincing wholes is especially overt in these works. Mr. Rauch’s subject may be the discombobulation of modern life, but his convoluted scenes need to make more sense or emit more heat, whether formal or emotional." Read more.

In theNew Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl on Rauch: "Rauch has also said that his subjects often derive from his dreams, and that the recurrent character types—sensitive young man, bearded older man, chunky young woman, and proletarian, military, or fire-brigade squad—all represent him. Their behavior stymies interpretation, and even curiosity. It can appear not to interest the artist himself very much." Read more. Slide show.