Gestures of grace: Carol Saft at Lesley Heller

Contributed by Julia Couzens / Carol Saft’s plainspoken exhibition, “Fallen Men,“ in the project space at Lesley Heller, is a suite of small-scaled, wall-based bronze figures engaged in gestures of vulnerability and support.  They call to mind the bronze sculpture of Bauhaus artist Gerhard Marcks and share his ethic of directness and material honesty.

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Art and Film: The lives of artists

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s film Never Look Away concerns a German painter named Kurt Barnert (the charismatic Tom Schilling), but it is an unabashed interpretation of Gerhard Richter’s life. Its style is seductively elegant and its script at once discursive and oblique – qualities that make the story’s ugly intrigue … read more… “Art and Film: The lives of artists”

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Art and Film: Cheapening the art world one toxic bite at a time

Contributed by Kristen Clevenson / The Price of Everything (2018), a documentary film directed by Nathaniel Kahn, seeks to assess the impact, influence, and inescapable role of money in the art world. In November, I attended a screening followed by a panel discussion featuring Pulitzer prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz, Hunter College professor and chair of art history … read more… “Art and Film: Cheapening the art world one toxic bite at a time”

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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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Art and Film: Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Trump’s reactionary public policy, which has institutionalized contempt for the advances in social justice forged in the United States over the past 150 years, has produced pervasive discontent. Anger about his racism, misogyny, and homophobia is manifesting itself through art in different ways. In tone, resistance ranges from the simmering observations of Kerry … read more… “Art and Film: Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull”

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Art and Film: Meta’s meta in Madeline’s Madeline

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Writer-director Josephine Decker’s remarkably ambitious avant-garde film Madeline’s Madeline drills towards the molten core of the creative process and its hazards by way of the impressive young actress Helena Howard’s portrayal of the even more impressive eponymous young actress. Given that description, it goes almost without saying that the proceedings … read more… “Art and Film: Meta’s meta in Madeline’s Madeline”

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Art and Film: John Callahan’s Higher Power

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Growing up in Portland, Oregon, John Callahan, who would become a cartoonist noted for his dark, warped humor, had been a promising art student. But his abandonment by his birth mother and the coldness of his adoptive family haunted him. He started drinking at 13, and by his early twenties, … read more… “Art and Film: John Callahan’s Higher Power”

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On July 4th: The art of decency

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Leave No Trace, Debra Granik’s first dramatic movie since her Winter’s Bone ushered in Jennifer Lawrence eight years ago, is among the best and most resonant films to appear this year. The movie, beautifully filmed mainly in Oregon, involves a disaffected and widowed Marine veteran aptly named Will, played by a brilliantly constrained Ben … read more… “On July 4th: The art of decency”

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Art and Film: The beautifully unlovely Nancy

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The artistic process comes up quite a bit in cinema. This month alone, three new movies feature protagonists who are artists struggling against various worldly impediments to make their way. At the agreeable end of the spectrum, in Brett Haley’s comforting Hearts Beat Loud, there’s the irrepressibly winning Nick Offerman’s … read more… “Art and Film: The beautifully unlovely Nancy”

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