Art and Film: Merchants of nostalgia

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / If bad times increase the demand for nostalgia, the current bull market is going to persist for at least another year. But Donald Trump, the ultimate stimulus for that demand, is himself a product of a certain toxic brand of nostalgia – one for a time of white male domination, … read more… “Art and Film: Merchants of nostalgia”

No Comments

Hermine Ford’s exquisite poise

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Any painter is eclectic to a greater or lesser degree, drawing inspiration from other painters, but it’s a rarer one who successfully processes multiple discrete influences into distinctive art all her own. Hermine Ford is emphatically such a painter. Her discursively shaped paintings currently on view at the New York … read more… “Hermine Ford’s exquisite poise”

1 Comment

Hans Haacke’s ethical snark

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / If mid-century art lovers had thought Robert Rauschenberg’s cheeky erasure of Willem de Kooning’s drawing in 1953 was irreverent, they might have revised their definition of the term twenty years later, when Hans Haacke tendered them detailed questionnaires about their backgrounds and attitudes as they entered the John Weber Gallery, … read more… “Hans Haacke’s ethical snark”

No Comments

Art and Film: Joker is the wrong movie

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Joker, Todd Phillips’ tensely anticipated origin story of the Batman villain that grossed $96 million in its first weekend, self-consciously presents as Taxi Driver meets The King of Comedy, and a kind of atavistic essay on the perils of inequality and the dominance of the one percent. Like many high-concept films, however, … read more… “Art and Film: Joker is the wrong movie”

2 Comments

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”

No Comments

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”

No Comments

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”

1 Comment

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”

No Comments

Matthew Miller: Inside the near-perfect black

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Brooklyn-based Matthew Miller, recognized as an extraordinary figurative painter for some time, recently held an open studio in anticipation of a three-person show in Copenhagen. Included among three paintings slated for display is an unusually complex one for him, magnificent in both its solemn, old-world dignity and its cagey, contemporary fusion … read more… “Matthew Miller: Inside the near-perfect black”

No Comments

Neue Galerie’s “degenerate” art and Babylon Berlin

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Neue Galerie’s compellingly incisive exhibition, titled “Eclipse of the Sun: Art of the Weimar Republic” and anchored by Georg Grosz’s 1926 painting Eclipse of the Sun, yields an ominously resonant tableau of a post-World War I Germany saturated with angst. Grosz’s busy, quizzical work depicts an aloof and corrupt Paul … read more… “Neue Galerie’s “degenerate” art and Babylon Berlin”

No Comments