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”

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Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide / October 2018 (updated)

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Here is the updated list of October (mostly painting) shows that I promised earlier this month. NOTE: Galleries who would like their exhibitions considered for inclusion in the next Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide should send a note to Please include a few jpegs and exhibition info (Preferred format: name of gallery/ title … read more… “Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide / October 2018 (updated)”

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Elena Sisto: A new kind of freedom

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Elena Sisto’s new paintings, on view at Bookstein Projects through October 27, focus smartly on hair. Lively thick brushstrokes snake around diminutive, brightly colored faces, conjuring the stylized coifs of Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession. For Klimt, who was working in Vienna when Freud began hypothesizing about the power of … read more… “Elena Sisto: A new kind of freedom”

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Cathy Quinlan: Arcadian joy

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Cathy Quinlan, whose terrific new paintings and drawings are on view at Centotto in Bushwick, is old-fashioned. Instead of snapping images of paintings at galleries, she takes out her sketchbook and draws them, then posts them in “The Pencil Review,” a column at Talking Pictures, her blog that “explores, comments, … read more… “Cathy Quinlan: Arcadian joy”


Dona Nelson: Exuberant overworking as a strategy

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Dona Nelson says she’s lazy because sometimes she would rather read a book than work in the studio. But “Stand Alone Paintings,” a recent mini-retrospective at Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum that includes thirty pieces ranging from the 1980s to the present, revealed an artist who is far from a slacker. Clearly … read more… “Dona Nelson: Exuberant overworking as a strategy”

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The 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships

Contributed by Sharon Butler / This year hardworking panelists Julia Whitney Barnes (Dutchess), Franklin Evans (New York), Elliot Green (Columbia), Sarah McCoubrey (Onondaga), and Mie Yim (Kings) selected the The New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship recipients from a staggeringly large pool of 3,071 applicants. Each artist will receive a cash grant of $7,000, and the three finalists — Jordan Casteel, Clayton Schiff, and Don Voisine … read more… “The 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships”


Summer studio: Catherine Howe in Clermont, NY

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Recently I was pleased to learn that Winston Wächter Fine Art in Chelsea and Seattle will be representing Catherine Howe, a talented painter I met during Final Crits at the New York Academy of Art in May. At the time, she was in the process of packing up her studio at the … read more… “Summer studio: Catherine Howe in Clermont, NY”

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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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The meditative process of making: Abstraction in Connecticut

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Co-curators Daphne Anderson Deeds and Jacquelyn Gleisner have organized “State of Abstraction,” a sophisticated  group exhibition comprising elegant work by more than twenty Connecticut artists who explore a wide range of abstract strategies. Thoughtfully installed at the Washington Art Association, the work speaks of emotion, material experimentation, history, and the meditative process of making.