Art criticism: Alive and well

Village Voice critic Martha Schwendener, in a good piece on the state of art writing and criticism, suggests that, despite the bad economy, things are pretty good right now. “The big narrative in the art world over the last decade has been the market. Money, as you may have heard, changes everything. But now that … read more… “Art criticism: Alive and well”

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Terry Winters: Haltingly optimistic

In The Village Voice RC Baker writes that there’s something hard-fought and heartening about Terry Winters’s new paintings at Matthew Marks. “Chunks of intense color tumble and collide across garish or sooty or muddy matrices. Like our times, they’re fraught, complex, and scarred over, but also haltingly optimistic….In a 1992 Bomb magazine interview, Winters recalled … read more… “Terry Winters: Haltingly optimistic”

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Tom Schmitt at Howard Scott

In The Village Voice, RC Baker reports that Schmitt’s years of painting make all the difference in these digitally-created formalist compositions. “The four orange squares in ‘Quad’ (2005) are divided by a gray grid; the transition between the two colors is as smoothly elusive as the intersections of colored light in Dan Flavin’s fluorescent-tube sculptures. … read more… “Tom Schmitt at Howard Scott”

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John O’Connor: Recording small events, missteps, and changes of direction over time

In The Village Voice RC Baker reports that John O’Connor uses ‘haphazard research’ and personal obsession (body weight, lottery numbers, weather reports) as inspiration for his drawings, some of which are almost seven feet high. “This approach lends his charts and graphs a delectably organic feel, as layers of silky black graphite combine with bold … read more… “John O’Connor: Recording small events, missteps, and changes of direction over time”

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Sue Williams’s linemaking logic

In the Village Voice Michael Spies writes about his visit to Sue Williams’s Montauk studio where they discussed work for her show, opening today, at David Zwirner. “Her studio space is tight, the walls sparsely adorned with small drawings and paintings made by her 13-year-old daughter, Charlotte…. To our left is a big window looking … read more… “Sue Williams’s linemaking logic”

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Guston’s paint still looks wet

At MoMA, installed in the teeming atrium space, I was happy to see seven of Philip Guston’s cartoon paintings from the sixties and seventies. I agree with Village Voice critic RC Baker that the paintings look startlingly fresh. “Guston (1913–1980) began his career in the ’30s, with stolid scenes of Klansmen that combined Piero della … read more… “Guston’s paint still looks wet”

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Everybody hearts painting, 4eva

“Painting: Now and Forever, Part II,” billed as “a highly subjective, celebratory survey of contemporary painting,” is a wonderfully seductive, understated show, at least the installation at Matthew Marks. The highlight for me was seeing one of Blinky Palermo‘s sewn fabric pieces for the first time. In The Village Voice, on the other hand, RC … read more… “Everybody hearts painting, 4eva”

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Kerry James Marshall’s romance

In The Village Voice R.C. Baker calls Marshall’s paintings defiant kitsch. “Kerry James Marshall’s paintings of black people simply being human stand out in an art-industrial complex where subjects, artists, purveyors, and consumers are pretty much white folk. In his series of five large grisaille paintings, he imagines a young man lifting his girl through … read more… “Kerry James Marshall’s romance”

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Ann Craven’s bird and moon paintings

While Craven first exhibited paintings of the moon in 1996, she began the current series of moon paintings—now numbering into the hundreds—in 2001, working on the rooftop of her Harlem studio, also in Maine, and most recently in France, during a fall 2007 artist residency. Each of the small, square (14 x 14 inches) canvases … read more… “Ann Craven’s bird and moon paintings”

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Ashley Bickerton’s exotic fruit

Bali-based Bickerton hires models and actors, paints directly on their faces and bodies, then photographs them. The images are then altered digitally, printed on canvas, and painted some more. Each is then stretched, and displayed in a hand-carved, elaborately decorated frame. In The Village Voice, Leslie Camhi says Bickerton’s eight remarkable paintings depict an inner … read more… “Ashley Bickerton’s exotic fruit”

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