Peter Krashes: Summer in the city

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Spending summer in the city means that each weekend, in neighborhoods far and near, street traffic is rerouted to make way for lively festivals featuring food, music, facepainting, games, dancing, and more. Peter Krashes, a political organizer in Prospect Heights, makes paintings based on snapshots he takes during these neighborhood festivals. The gouache-on-paper … read more… “Peter Krashes: Summer in the city”

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Björn Meyer-Ebrecht: Spontaneity rising

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Contemplating Gerrit Rietveld’s furniture, especially the pieces he made from crates, Björn Meyer-Ebrecht realized that utilitarian furniture can be sculpture, and that sculpture in turn can serve as a utilitarian object. He explores this idea in a thoughtful and lively new show at Owen James Gallery in Soho. A series … read more… “Björn Meyer-Ebrecht: Spontaneity rising”

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Farley Aguilar’s screamingly urgent figurative paintings

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Farley Aguilar’s paintings, on view at Lyles & King, are based on vintage photographs of 1920s and ‘30s seaside beauty pageants and images of female Nazi collaborators having their heads shaved after World War II. The contrast is jarring at first but fits into an insightfully integrated sense of powerlessness … read more… “Farley Aguilar’s screamingly urgent figurative paintings”

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Carter Ratcliff: Art in the age of Trump

Contributed by Carter Ratcliff / Let’s begin with a painting—not sure it’s a work of art—that could have been painted only now, during Trump’s presidency. This is The Republican Club, a group portrait of selected Republican presidents, by Andy Thomas.  Hanging now in the White House, it appeared behind Trump during a recent television interview. Though … read more… “Carter Ratcliff: Art in the age of Trump”

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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”

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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”

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Exhibition essay: Sarah Sentilles on Nancy Bowen at Kentler International Drawing Space

Contributed by Sarah Sentilles / Nancy Bowen calls herself an “artistic archaeologist,” and in her exhibition “For Each Ecstatic Instant,” you can see the fragments of her brilliant excavations: maps, engravings, pamphlets, stamps, glass, picture frames, and pages from books on scientists and language and personalities and enamelware and customs and hopscotch. Bowen reassembles what … read more… “Exhibition essay: Sarah Sentilles on Nancy Bowen at Kentler International Drawing Space”

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Alex Kwartler: Tenuous survivalism

Contributed by Sharon Butler / In “Snowflake,” Alex Kwartler’s recent show at Magenta Plains, small-scale paintings captured the desultory emotional tenor of 2017. Compared with his earlier exhibitions, which featured a lively, large-scale abstractions alongside smaller black pictograph-like images and explored notions about surface and spontaneity, the work on view this year appears slow, dark, … read more… “Alex Kwartler: Tenuous survivalism”

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Laura Blacklow on painterly photo processes

Contributed by Sharon Butler / On the occasion of the Association of International Photography Dealers (AIPAD) sponsored Photography Show that is taking place on Pier 94 in NYC this weekend, I spoke with Laura Blacklow, a Boston-based artist (and once a teacher of mine) who works with alternative photo processes. Exploring the experimental precinct where painting and photography intersect, Blacklow has recently released the fifth edition … read more… “Laura Blacklow on painterly photo processes”

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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.

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