Portraits of a president

Contributed by Sharon Butler / CNN reported that the official portraits of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been removed from the Grand Foyer of the White House and replaced with portraits of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. The Grand Foyer, where visitors to the White House first arrive and gather, … read more… “Portraits of a president”

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Consciousness raising: Social media

Contributed by Sharon Butler / The time has come to leave Facebook and engage in online activities elsewhere. Difficult though it may seem to leave the art community that we’ve established on that platform, and the ease we feel with the software, I’ve decided to  encourage a migration to Tumblr, a microblogging tool that has … read more… “Consciousness raising: Social media”

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Quick study: A new day

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Here is a selection of art articles I’ve gathered from sites around the internet this week, including Painters on Painting, The New Yorker, NY Times, artnet, Hyperallergic, NPR, and Dance Theater of Harlem. At the end, look for a link to a Mother Jones article about Trump’s pathologies, and a … read more… “Quick study: A new day”

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Covid-19: A cultural draft notice

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The current of disgust, loathing, and anger in the liberal white consciousness has been pretty steady since Donald Trump was elected president, extinguishing a delicate consensus that the country was moving in more or less in the right direction. Of course, for people like me – white, male, late boomer/early … read more… “Covid-19: A cultural draft notice”

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The political power of art

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In a typically penetrating New York Times column earlier this month, David Leonhardt pointed out that one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s many insights was the need to showcase as well as merely extend government largesse in order to impress upon its beneficiaries the ongoing value of the federal government’s involvement in their … read more… “The political power of art”

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Ideas and influences: Mike Cloud

Rather than parse the differences among us, Mike Cloud’s new paintings address the one experience we all have in common regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, wealth, or nationality: impending death. For his solo show at Thomas Erben, on view through November 2, Cloud has used stretcher bars, belts, fabrics, paint, and other materials to create … read more… “Ideas and influences: Mike Cloud”

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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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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”

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Catalogue essay: Paul Pieroni on Peter Halley’s 1980s painting

The aim of this text, which was originally published as “Facts are Useless in Emergencies” in Peter Halley: Paintings of the 1980s The Catalogue Raisonne, is to provide an in-depth analysis of Peter Halley’s painting as it emerged during the 1980s. I engage Halley’s theoretical writing—which extends his visual language—while also considering the critical reception … read more… “Catalogue essay: Paul Pieroni on Peter Halley’s 1980s painting”

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Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Argentina’s decade-long “dirty war” (1974–83) during which a right-wing military junta “disappeared” about 30,000 left-wing dissidents – that is, executed them without acknowledgement of their deaths – ended over 35 years ago. Yet Argentina’s outstanding contemporary filmmakers continue to revisit the dirty war. In 2009, there was Juan José Campanella’s … read more… “Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent”

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