Thomas Berding: Something wild

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Thomas Berding’s insouciant show “Field Test,” at The Painting Center in Chelsea, is a smart, spirited consideration of the tension between the whirl and the pastoral. The seven paintings – and their witty titles – are straightforward enough to impart primary messages clearly, but that leaves more time to decrypt the … read more… “Thomas Berding: Something wild”

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Gary Petersen: The span of attention

Contributed by Riad Miah / “Just Hold On,” the title of Gary Petersen’s second show at McKenzie Fine Arts on the Lower East Side, fits the arresting energy of his work, his playful palette, and the rich provenance of his geometric abstractions. Perhaps he is referring to the moment a person in mid-conversation decides to pause … read more… “Gary Petersen: The span of attention”

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Art and Film: Issa López’s fierce children

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Mike Kelley, the late conceptual artist, famously cast stuffed animals both as children’s escape hatches from worldly nastiness and as the potential tools of their nefarious seducers or demons. Writer-director Issa López maintains this duality in Tigers Are Not Afraid, a film of stunning inventiveness, brutality, and compassion. Presented as the … read more… “Art and Film: Issa López’s fierce children”

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Catherine Howe: Sly virtuosity

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Calling Catherine Howe’s whirling, monochromic flower paintings “the pleasure garden” is archly ironic, like calling de Kooning’s early paintings “women.” Although her canvases outwardly do describe floral forms, their deeper meaning lies in the large, threatening scale, the aggressively fluid use of materials, and the evident physical energy that went into their making. … read more… “Catherine Howe: Sly virtuosity”

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Two Pieros for Mary Hambleton

Contributed by Ken Buhler / One afternoon last summer I decided to go to the National Gallery in London. I was in upstate New York, idly turning the pages of a book of Italian paintings, when I came upon Piero Della Francesca’s Baptism. Its geometric perfection and its eloquence struck me full-on. The plan for the … read more… “Two Pieros for Mary Hambleton”

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William Powhida’s inquisition

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / For a while it looked as though William Powhida might be painting himself into an existential corner. His mission was to sensitize his audience to the hypocritical churn of the art market – to the reality that what made producing something putatively nobler and loftier than money viable was in fact … read more… “William Powhida’s inquisition”

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Frankie Gardiner: Painting the unknown

Contributed by Martin Bromirski / Frankie Gardiner lives in an old house across from a barn at the curve of a narrow road. Her yard is almost overgrown, the forest is closing in. With the lights out inside her house, near the end of an August day, I visited to see her paintings. A figure … read more… “Frankie Gardiner: Painting the unknown”

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Studio Visit (at last) with Lucy Mink

Contributed by Jason Andrew / Lucy Mink was the first artist I came to know solely through Facebook. She didn’t live in Brooklyn but in rural Contoocook, New Hampshire, and I became cyber-obsessed, waiting for each new post from her studio. What I saw then and continue to see today in Mink’s work is an embrace of the kind … read more… “Studio Visit (at last) with Lucy Mink”

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Rachel Howard: A fascination with madness

Contributed by Sharon Butler / British painter Rachel Howard is in town this month, presenting “L’appel du vide,” her first New York solo show, at Blain|Southern. Howard is known for a visceral, intuitive approach to abstraction that embraces painting, sculpture, and work on paper. Last week, after she’d finished installing the show, she and her old friend (and Brooklyn gallerist) Stephanie … read more… “Rachel Howard: A fascination with madness”

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Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Rivaled only by Los Angeles among cities celebrated in American cinema, New York deserves its own pointedly knowing and satisfyingly chunky essay on films set there. Now the city has one, in the form of Mark Asch’s New York Movies, the latest volume in Little White Lies Magazine’s Close-Ups series … read more… “Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York”

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