January 25, 2008

Saltz: Old is gold

In New York, Jerry Saltz writes that the art market bubble has enabled long-overlooked but hard-working artists to move a little closer to the limelight. "One of the good things about the supposedly evil art boom—setting aside for the moment the notion that it may be destabilizing right now— is that underknown mid-career artists are getting second chances at recognition. In November, Mary Heilmann, who is 67 and whose work has always been respected but never A-listed, scored the covers of Artforum and Art in America simultaneously. Today, she’s the subject of a traveling retrospective, selling paintings for upwards of $200,000. Amy Sillman, 52, made the cover of Artforum last February, and her prices have reached $85,000. After decades of neglect, Marilyn Minter, now 59, not only ended up in the last Whitney Biennial; her work was featured on the cover of that show’s catalogue, and her paintings now sell for more than $130,000. Recent seasons have seen the reemergence of Robert Bechtle, Olivier Mosset, and Michael Smith, all of whom, along with Heilmann, will be in this spring’s Whitney Biennial."

Saltz continues with a review of Joyce Pensato's show at Friedrich Petzel. "In her gnarly Petzel show, Pensato gives us a rogues’ gallery of raving, debased, pop-eyed beings—a pale fright-mask Homer Simpson, a psychotic-looking Felix the Cat, a slaphappy Daisy Duck, South Park’s Stan Marsh looking like a Warlock out of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine. A few of Pensato’s new works are as voracious and haunting as anything she’s ever made. In fact, I would’ve liked to see representative samples of the rest of her art: Because all the works are paintings of around the same size, depict similar subjects, and display consistent surfaces and palette, the show gets repetitious. Pensato is an extraordinarily versatile artist who also makes amazingly physical wall drawings and lush works on paper, and, had she included a few of these wonderful monstrosities, she might not need another show after this one to prove her point." Read more.

Related posts:
Mary Heilmann retrospective: injecting vernacular juice into abstract art
Amy Sillman's "Suitors & Strangers" in Houston

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