Context plays an important role in art. This is particularly true of sculpture; it’s a medium that engages real space—that is to say, a place and our relationship to it.
Philip Grausman’s Susanna and Eileen (1996-1999), two monumental fiberglass sculptures, are on display on the grounds of the Katonah Museum of Art—Susanna on the Read More
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), the subject of the MoMA exhibition “Kirchner and the Berlin Street,” is, in the greater scheme of 20th-century art, a minor painter, albeit one with a significant role in the shaping of German Modernism.
Kirchner was a founding member of “Die Brücke” (“the Bridge”), a collective of painters out to Read More
Felix Nussbaum’s Self in Concentration Camp (1940), a painting included in the exhibition “Max Beckmann: Self-Portrait With Horn” at the Neue Galerie, is as bleak as the title implies. Wearing a wool cap, a tattered jacket and a lean beard, the artist looks askance with steely distrust. In the background, a figure defecates into a Read More
In the catalog accompanying “The World Stage: Africa, Lagos~Dakar,” an exhibition of Kehinde Wiley’s paintings at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the artist holds forth on various aspects of his work—among them, his African heritage, the role of mimicry in art, being a twin, and themes of gender and postcolonialism. He lists as his peers Read More
In Edward Albee’s The Occupant, a play about the American sculptor Louise Nevelson, a nameless interviewer quizzes the artist on her fame and critical fortunes. He mentions the name “Louise Bourgeois.” Nevelson reacts with dismissive hauteur. The implication is clear: The Nevelson character feels threatened by Ms. Bourgeois.
Why, exactly, is left unanswered. Envy Read More
How will art history judge Burgess Collins (1923-2004), the artist better known as Jess? The new exhibition of his work at Tibor de Nagy Gallery won’t tell you, but there’s one thing for sure about Jess’ current standing: He’s nowhere—but, then again, that might stand as the most fitting tribute to an artist defined by Read More
In his invaluable book Temperaments: Artists Facing Their Work, art writer Dan Hofstadter profiled the painter Richard Diebenkorn. It’s a remarkable essay, not least because its subject is unexciting.
Diebenkorn comes across as a solid family man and a collegial instructor. He enjoyed the occasional drink, didn’t sleep around or throw punches. Read More
A young artist recently told me that working from observation was an antiquated endeavor. Why look at a still-life arrangement when taking a photograph of it would do just as nicely? We have, after all, reached a stage in human development when learning from stuff out there is moot. Getting your hands dirty—what’s the point? Read More
David Byrne has always been pretentious; that’s part of his charm. From the Talking Heads’ first single in 1977, “Love—Building on Fire,” to his debut as screenwriter and director with True Stories, and to myriad other projects—including, of all things, an opera about Imelda Marcos—Mr. Byrne has proved that faux naïveté, arty self-consciousness and adroitly Read More
Whatever else you can say about it, the Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s work, on view at PaceWildenstein’s 22nd and 25th street locations, is perfect tourist fare. Think about it: Chelsea is the hub of the international scene. Its notoriety and commercial clout have extended beyond in-the-know aficionados. Chelsea isn’t the Met, but it is attracting Read More