Quick study

Contributed by Sharon Butler / The semester is over and I’m finally catching up on the news. Here are links to some of the stories that caught my eye: Ceramic Christmas trees, NYTimes critics pick their favorite art books of 2018, John Yau ODs on Mark Grotjahn, Sept Rodney on “Soul of a Nation,” the $200,000 Don Tyson … read more… “Quick study”

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Yes, Julian Schnabel painted the Van Goghs

Contributed by Sharon Butler / While watching At Eternity’s Gate, Julian Schnabel’s new film about Vincent Van Gogh, I wondered if Schnabel had made the paintings and drawings himself, and it turns out he did. “When Willem [Dafoe as Van Gogh] is drawing, sometimes my arm is in one sleeve of his shirt…luckily Willem’s hands and mine look … read more… “Yes, Julian Schnabel painted the Van Goghs”

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Art and Film: Van Gogh’s sanity

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /  “One man’s insanity is another man’s genius,” Joyce Carol Oates has written. In the popular imagination, though, Vincent Van Gogh was a psychologically tortured idiot-savant. Inner demons, not conscious deliberation, drove him to make his transcendent paintings, which invested natural phenomena with haunting emotional qualities and philosophical portent. Aesthetic discretion … read more… “Art and Film: Van Gogh’s sanity”

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Interview with Jane Swavely: Toxic glow

  Contributed by Sharon Butler / When Jane Swavely isn’t working in the old-school LES loft where she raised two sons, she is at a cabin in the Catskills or sailing around the northeast on a beautiful, sturdy sailboat that her husband built. The last time we met was on Cuttyhunk Island off the coast of Massachusetts, where she had sailed from Martha’s Vineyard, braving … read more… “Interview with Jane Swavely: Toxic glow”


Warhol at the Whitney: A provocateur for all seasons

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / There are certainly strong generational reasons for the Whitney to mount “Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again,” its penetrating current retrospective. It goes almost without saying that Warhol changed art history by melding the commercial and the “fine,” and, in his energized aesthetic embrace of the whole … read more… “Warhol at the Whitney: A provocateur for all seasons”


Jenny Snider: Mutiny, rebellion, the experience of life

Contributed by Jason Andrew / Jenny Snider is a storyteller. The content and form of her art come from a variety of sources: history, popular culture, politics, and art itself in the form of grid-based abstraction representing natural and mechanical forms. But singularly, she is interested in “describing the experience of the life I know and … read more… “Jenny Snider: Mutiny, rebellion, the experience of life”


Nora Griffin hot take

Contributed by Sharon Butler / In Nora Griffin’s lively new paintings at Fierman, aesthetic tropes from eighties graphics – the stepped rule, the squiggle, artful spatter, bold pastel color – meet calculated painterly excess. She expands on the composition-cover patterns of previous work with great brio, resuscitating action painting and combining it with stream-of-consciousness content. We … read more… “Nora Griffin hot take”

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Brian Dupont and Rachael Nevins: Suffering for something beautiful

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Brian Dupont’s paintings, on view at Adah Rose Gallery in Bethesda, Maryland, through December 31, are uniquely transfixing for several reasons. One is their lean, industrial look – they’re oil on metal. Another is the sense, owing to the stenciled letters and numbers present, that they reveal something randomly profound in the workaday. But … read more… “Brian Dupont and Rachael Nevins: Suffering for something beautiful”


The Great War and Modernism

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The First World War – known as the Great War before it became necessary to number them – is one of history’s most celebrated lessons on two subjects in particular: how ominously easily it can be for a major war to arise, and the senseless cruelty and calamity of armed … read more… “The Great War and Modernism”


Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide: November 2018

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Update (November 11): I don’t know about you, but I feel a tremendous burden has been lifted thanks to the Beautiful Blue Wave on Tuesday. Thanks for voting, thanks for canvasing, and special thanks to readers in NY-19 and throughout New Jersey who booted the GOP out of office. Hello … read more… “Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide: November 2018”

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