Presidents’ Day video: The unveiling of the official Obama portraits

In this video, watch the unveiling of the magnificent portraits of President Obama and the former First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery. Listen to poignant remarks by President Obama and Mrs. Obama, Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet and artists Wiley and Sherald. Make sure you have some tissues.

On file: Leslie Brack at Cathouse Proper

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Offices were once equipped with typewriters, copy machines, and paperclips, and, of course, contained the files that organized and stored “paperwork.” Leslie Brack’s new paintings of well-worn metal file cabinet drawers, on view at Cathouse Proper’s new space in Carroll Gardens, evoke this forgotten past, in which information, rather than existing online forever, could … read more… “On file: Leslie Brack at Cathouse Proper”

Tom McGlynn: Liberating geometric shapes

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Tom McGlynn’s enigmatically reductive paintings are a study in subtle contrasts between systematization and autonomy, order and disarray. Horizontal rectangles of various sizes and colors are rendered on a monochromatic surface, each with immaculately straight edges and carefully painted a solid color. Yet these shapes, while neat and precise in … read more… “Tom McGlynn: Liberating geometric shapes”

documenta 14: The emotional thump

Contributed by Loren Britton / Banu Cennetoğlu‘s work in documenta 14 BEINGSAFEISSCARY cleverly rearranges and edits the building text from the Kassel Fridericianum’s façade into a statement that clairvoyantly points to the propositions and challenges of documenta 14. What are the stakes of “safety” when it comes to organizing in Germany a multi-country exhibition that engages … read more… “documenta 14: The emotional thump”

Fiction: Consummate Saturday [Paul D’Agostino]

“Consummate Saturday” A short story by Paul Da’Agostino Mina’s fourth and final bout of existence-racking pre-febrile dry heaves terminated at 4:37 on Saturday morning amid the mildew stains, strewn magazines and pubic squalor that adorned Davis’s loathsomely uncivil shared bathroom in a three-bedroom flat. Her supposedly latent and as-yet-undefined illness blossomed into dreadful self-realization no … read more… “Fiction: Consummate Saturday [Paul D’Agostino]”

Lunchtime dystopia: CON-Figuration at Postmasters

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Not far from the courthouse, wandering jurors like myself might happen upon Postmasters Gallery on Franklin Street during the mandated 1-2 pm lunchbreak. Currently on view is a densely hung exhibition of figurative work called “CON-Figuration,” a big, bawdy show of digital collage, painting, woven tapestries of porn web pages, and … read more… “Lunchtime dystopia: CON-Figuration at Postmasters”

Rainy day in New York

When I got to the studio this dreary grey morning, my coat and tote bags were sopping wet. Looking up from the building’s entrance on Washington Street, I saw that the Manhattan Bridge was barely visible in the rain, and the street was, for once, absent of wedding photographers, brides, grooms, and selfie-stick wielding tourists. … read more… “Rainy day in New York”

Ideas and Influences: Brece Honeycutt

Artist and citizen naturalist Brece Honeycutt lives in Massachusetts, on a colonial farmhouse in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains. Fascinated with the history of her home and the surrounding land, she reads handwritten antique diaries at the local library, gathers old textiles, and creates natural dyes from the plants she collects on her morning walks. During her walks, she closely observes changes to the landscape, making notes that become the basis for new … read more… “Ideas and Influences: Brece Honeycutt”

A better bonfire at the Whitney: Painting from the 1980s

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / “Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s,” the Whitney’s trenchant exhibition of American work, immediately recalls the Reagan era, when bluffness trumped irony and a turbocharged version of squareness – razor-sharp creases and collar bars, coke-fueled hostile takeovers, money in the service of comfort and status, strategic peremptoriness – shoved aside … read more… “A better bonfire at the Whitney: Painting from the 1980s”

Studio visit with Lucia Hierro

Contributed by Kate Liebman / On Valentine’s Day I visited Lucia Hierro in her studio in the Bronx where she has been working for more than two years. Nearby, a group of former factory buildings are in the process of being converted into artist studios and lofts. Born and raised in New York City, Lucia also spent a few years in … read more… “Studio visit with Lucia Hierro”