“Francis Bacon,” a retrospective timed to the centenary anniversary of the artist’s birth (he died in 1992 at the age of 83) is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hs toothy monsters, humping, anonymous men and slabs of meat installed directly off the European wing, a stone’s throw from Rembrandt, Goya and Velazquez. Read More
“Plop Art,” it’s called: sculptures placed in public spaces with little thought given to how they might actually function in them.
“Plopping” this or that object in a highly trafficked area is presumably done for the benefit of the public weal, as if navigating around art is the same thing as appreciating it. The Read More
Bernie Madoff and his testicles make a fleeting appearance in Peter Saul’s exhibition of paintings and works-on-paper at David Nolan Gallery, and New Yorkers are poorer for it. Actually, it’s Mr. Madoff’s castration Mr. Saul depicts. Notwithstanding the artist’s typically over-the-top finger-pointing, the “Maddoff” drawings aren’t anywhere near as disgusting, funny or caustic as they Read More
Pablo Picasso has always been easy to hate. Renowned as a protean talent who changed the course of Western art, he’s equally renowned for his many and egregious personal failings. Such a charged figure seems beyond the realm of apathy, but the redoubtable Spaniard has, in recent years, become a bore. Marquee value all but Read More
The old man faces us, naked from the waist up. His bald head, covered in shadow but sharply defined, tilts forward at a niggling angle—as if its weight were increasingly untenable. His skin is translucent and seems barely capable of holding together. Propped within an almost impossibly compressed space, the man gazes intently at nothing Read More
In an interview with Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the painter Barkley L. Hendricks states that there aren’t “too many contemporary painters I get inspiration from.” Ms. Golden, citing Mr. Hendricks’ “resonance” in the art scene, seems taken aback. He has, after all, benefited from a marketplace that currently smiles upon Read More
A portrait is an artist’s attempt to encapsulate and fix character, whether it’s been commissioned as an advertisement of power (all those pharaohs, kings, aristocrats and emperors) or something humble and intimate (think Rembrandt’s sobering self-depictions). But in the end, impetus counts less than insight. The Met’s marble bust of Caligula originally served as political Read More
The American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is best known for his mobiles—hanging sculptures fashioned from impeccably poised lengths of wire and thin metal plates, usually colored black and red. Taking direct inspiration from Miró, Calder distilled the Catalan master’s biomorphic vocabulary to the point at which Surrealist portent became happy caprice. The mobiles don’t need Read More
Philippe de Montebello stepped up to the podium at the press preview for the exhibition “The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions” and looked about ready to keel over. Explaining that he had caught a bug, Mr. de Montebello seemed adrift in a NyQuil haze, his voice croaky and his demeanor Read More
The recent discovery of 130-some drawings by Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) has been likened to the unearthing of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The scrabbled fantasies of a schizophrenic and the roots of civilization—how could they not be equally important?
Hype knows no bounds, but the Ramírez find is a pretty big deal. Long known Read More