“If you emerged from the Whitney Biennial wondering where all the painting went, don’t despair,” Karen Rosenberg informs us in the NY Times this morning. “An alternative view of the state of contemporary art can be found at the National Academy’s annual exhibition. This year’s show is a non-member affair (alternate years are members-only), which means that it is about as lively as a juried exhibition organized by committee can be….One of the themes of recent annuals is the battle of gestural versus geometric abstraction. At this year’s show geometry prevails. Danielle Tegeder’s painting ‘Tzangrine: The Mechanics of Velocity and Lust’ evokes early Duchamp and Italian Futurism with a dynamic group of angular forms linked by thin lines. Ben La Rocco paints symmetrical compositions that resemble race car graphics, while Derek Leka channels Peter Halley’s cells and conduits. Not everything in the exhibition is so shiny and glib. The painters Eric Holzman, Colleen Randall and Stanley Lewis favor a thick, resolutely un-trendy impasto. The sculptor Leonardo Drew exhibits a series of rust prints in weathered frames, depicting the exteriors of run-down buildings. The New Orleans artist Willie Birch’s pair of charcoal drawings, ‘The Aftermath of Katrina’ (2007), is one of the show’s few bids for social relevance. Original, boundary-breaking concepts are scarce, but interesting and varied techniques abound. …Love them or hate them, the Academy’s annuals can seem like the art world’s last line of defense against the forces of youth, attitude and the market. That defense might be strengthened by a tighter display and a more relaxed definition of art.” Read more.
“The 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art,” National Academy Museum, New York, NY. Through Sept. 7.
Artists include: Linda Adato, Tina Amarena, Lisha Bai, Laura Battle, Ken Beck, Jose Bedia, Jaq Belcher, Emily Berger, Willie Birch, Nancy Brett, Becky Brown, Michael Burke, Chris Burnside, Cynthia Carlson, Squeak Carnwath, Simon Carr, JoAnne Carson, Saint Clair Cemin, Beau Chamberlain, Andrea Champlin, James O. Clark, David Collins, Pat Colville, Elizabeth Cooper, Douglas Craft, David Crum, Donna Dennis, Cathy Diamond, Michael DiCerbo, Leonardo Drew, Loretta Dunkelman, Ming Fay, Jean Feinberg, Jeffrey Fichera, Jeanette Fintz, Stephanie Laura Franks, David Fratkin, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Bill Freeland, Linda Ganjian, Brenda Garand, Judith Geichman, Celia Gerard, Bryan Nash Gill, Chambliss Giobbi, Maria Elena González, Peter Gourfain, Elizabeth Gourlay, Grace Graupe Pillard, Jenna Gribbon, C. Gregory Gummersall, Lisa Hamilton, Julie Heffernan, Steven Holl, Eric Holzman, Richard Hricko, Frances Hynes, Darina Karpov, Rhoda Keller, Barbara Kerstetter, Sabina Klein, Ben LaRocco, Nancy Lasar, John Kemp Lee, Sungmi Lee, Derek Leka, Jeffrey Lewis, Stanley Lewis, Ying Li, Cynthia Lin, Pat Lipsky, Arthur Lubetz, Elizabeth MacDonald, Barry Malloy, Elizabeth Marran,, Lee Marshall, Fred Martin, Hunter McKee, Dana Melamed, Melissa Meyer, Ron Milewicz, Leah Montalto, Thaddeus Mosley, Mario Naves, Laura Newman, Caitlin Nolan, Matthew Northridge, Patsy Norvell, Steve Novick, Eve Olitski, Soo Sunny Park, Mel Pekarsky, Marilyn Perry, Richard Pitts, Andrew Raftery, Colleen Randall, David Reed, Katherine Rogers, David Row, Ephraim Rubenstein, Mel Rubin, Mayumi Sarai, Susan Sauerbrun, Bill Scott, Sean Scully, Eriko Seo, Edward Shalala, Elena Sisto, Kim Sloane, E.E. Smith, Shirley Smith, Richard Snyder, Regina Stewart, Leonard Stokes, Barbara Takenaga, Danielle Tegeder, Luigi Terruso, Anthony H. Thompson, Fumiko Toda, Craig Usher, Don Voisine, Erika Wastrom, Ken Weathersby, Joanne Pagano Weber, Martin Weinstein, James Wines, Betty Woodman, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Elizabeth Yamin, Barbara Zucker