Why Bacon?

Francis Bacon is one of those painters every beginning painting student adores because Bacon’s work is so much more accessible than the abstract painters who were exploring similar existential themes during the same period. The accessibility of Bacon’s corporeal vision is undoubtedly why his work appeals so strongly to new collectors short on art theory. … read more… “Why Bacon?”

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Bonnard: Folding together form, color and feeling

Roberta Smith on Pierre Bonnard at the Met: “Working simultaneously on several unstretched canvases tacked directly to the wall, he painted largely from memory with the help of quick sketches and watercolors, burnishing his motifs until they approached incandescence. He said that painting from reality distracted him from the task of making the painting a … read more… “Bonnard: Folding together form, color and feeling”

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Jewel-encrusted vs. diamond-dusted

I spent a few hours rambling around the Met this week and saw the survey of Raqib Shaw’s opulent jewel-encrusted paintings based on Hans Holbein the Younger’s (ca. 1497-1543) paintings. They reminded me of my daughter’s stained-glass craft kits, but of course those don’t have the oppresive glut of obvious art historical references. If we’re … read more… “Jewel-encrusted vs. diamond-dusted”

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Morandi: “I don’t ask for anything except for a bit of peace which is indispensable for me to work.”

The big Giorgio Morandi survey that opens this week at the Metropolitan Museum features over 100 paintings, drawings, watercolors and etchings. In the New Yorker Peter Schjeldahl writes that painting for Morandi was manual labor, first and last. “For a time, he ground his own pigments. He stretched his own canvases, constantly varying their proportions. … read more… “Morandi: “I don’t ask for anything except for a bit of peace which is indispensable for me to work.””

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Proto-Bohemian Gustave Courbet arrives at the Metropolitan

Courbet would be glad to know that everyone’s still talking about him. In the NYTimes, Roberta Smith writes that Courbet only grudgingly accepted the title of Realist. “Even in front of his most realistic work, you often find yourself wrestling not so much with lived reality, as with the sheer — very real — uncanniness … read more… “Proto-Bohemian Gustave Courbet arrives at the Metropolitan”

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Jasper Johns: Eminence gray

“Jasper Johns: Gray,” curated by James Rondeau and Douglas Druick at The Art Institute of Chicago. Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY. February 5 – May 4. Check out the NYTimes slide show of images. “Jasper Johns: Drawings 1997-2007,” Matthew Marks, New York, NY. Through April 12. According to the press release, Johns has worked in … read more… “Jasper Johns: Eminence gray”

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Courbet retrospective in Paris

“Courbet,” curated by Laurence des Cars, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Gary Tinterow, and Michel Hilaire. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Through Jan. 28. Schedule: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Feb.27 to May 18; Musée Fabre, Montpellier, June 13 to Sept. 28. The exhibition, which includes over 130 paintings and is due in NYC … read more… “Courbet retrospective in Paris”

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Ab-Ex at the Met

“Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” selected and installed by Gary Tinterow. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Through Feb. 3. In the NYTimes, Roberta Smith drools over Mrs. Newman’s collection, but NYSun critic Lance Esplund suggests that Mrs. Newman’s collection … read more… “Ab-Ex at the Met”

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Sean Scully and Eli Broad

In Stephanie Strom’s report on charitable giving in the NYTimes, take a look at Sean Scully’s big, juicy painting hanging behind philanthropist Eli Broad in the photograph. In the absence of any current articles about Mr. Scully’s work, this presents a good opportunity to revisit material from the Scully exhibtion at the Metropolitan Museum. Here’s … read more… “Sean Scully and Eli Broad”

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From the archives: Donald Kuspit on Sean Scully

On artnet, Donald Kuspit’s erudite review of Sean Scully’s show (Sept. 26, 2006-Jan. 15, 2007) at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. For anyone interested in art criticism, it’s worth a (re)read. Read more.

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