the online magazine of art and ideas
Publisher & Editor David Cohen
Associate Publisher Laurie Frick Associate Editor Eric Gelber
Contributing Editors Reuben Baron, Joan Boykoff Baron, David Carrier, Joe Fyfe
Deborah Garwood, Jonathan Goodman, John Goodrich
Contributing Writer (auction reports) Brian Appel
Contributing Writer (Internet art) Amber Ladd
Editorial Assistant Gabbe Grodin Administrative Assistant Gili Levi
see articles for image credits; some cover images are details
DAVID COHEN ON CECILY BROWN AT GAGOSIAN
JOHN ZINSSER on Untitled (Vicarious) curated by Tom Duncan at Gagosian
This adventurous photography survey, pairing historical and contemporary examples of sculptural construction and assemblage as subject matter, includes
David Smith, László Moholy-Nagy,
Peter Fischli & David Weiss, James Welling, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand and Wolfgang Tillmans.
CATHY NAN QUINLAN on Marvin Gates at Bowery
The eye is constantly moving between flat patterns of color -- abstractions of pedestrians, crosswalks, cars and buildings -- into areas of deep space and then back again.
DAVID CARRIER on Nick Miller at the New York Studio School
Just as many Matisse drawings and paintings made in Nice in the 1920s and 30s incorporate a representation of himself making the work of art, so Miller includes images of his working space in his landscapes. The effect is to bring us into the working process.
JOE FYFE on Janet Malcolm at Lori Bookstein
Malcolm chooses to photograph leaves of the burdock plant because of its lowly status in the plant world - as a common weed that grows “along roadsides…and around derelict buildings” - and because of its literary status. She notes that Chekhov and Hawthorne have referenced it in their fiction to denote “ruin and desolation” and explains that she prefers “older, flawed leaves to young, unblemished specimens — leaves to which something has happened.”
JAMES SCARBOROUGH on Julian Hoeber at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Collectively, these sculptures look like death masks cast from Aztec sacrifices. Each embodies the magical absurd-beyond-belief-because-it’s-so-true realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
DAVID COHEN on Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings at the Drawing Center
There is a limited range of drawing styles, which tends to be competent enough but generally stilted, illustrative, and a bit nerdish. One wonders whether the difference in treatment that does come across is purely a matter of the individual draftsman’s hand or whether different speeds of movement in the scenes depicted — orderly placid drudging through dreary East European streets versus violent clashes with riot-geared police in some steamy tropical town — account for these differences.
DAVID COHEN on Diana Al-Hadid at Perry Rubenstein
Al-Hadid has been hooked on towers for several years now, involved in what can be taken as a reverse Watts Towers syndrome — instead of transforming found, non-art materials to create an aspirational edifice, she deploys considerable artistry to depict with a literalist intensity state of the art, fabricated structures in a frozen instant of failure.
CATHY NAN QUINLAN on Judy Glantzman at Betty Cuningham
Drawing and painting alternate in an extremely fluid and unusual way in these works. Has a painter ever been compared to Aretha Franklin, the way she can be talking one moment and singing the next?
DAVID COHEN on Robert Bordo at Alexander and Bonin
The diversity of this show, which finds its unity in values rather than effects, is another of its strengths. There is a wide divergence in terms of palette, texture, focus, and scale, but consistency in the depth of pleasure these canvases strike in the materiality of paint and the way its manipulations arbitrate the space between representation and experience.
PIRI HALASZ on The Governor's Island Art Fair, organized by 4Heads Collective
The art fair is billed as "organized entirely by artists, for artists—and the public’s enjoyment." What a pleasant change of pace from most of our big art fairs, especially the various Armory Shows, which are organized by dealers and have nothing but booths named for dealers.
NORA GRIFFIN on Geo/Metric : Prints and Drawings from the Collection, at the Museum of Modern Art
After being run through the pressure chamber of Conceptual Art, geometric forms for many artists working today are not indicative of a strict allegiance to any kind of school of non-objective thought or practice. From the storied history laid out in the rooms of “Geo/Metric” it seems that geometry in art has indeed reached its highest accomplishment: the freedom of eternal fresh starts.
JONATHAN GOODMAN on Su Xinping at ChinaSquare
One does not want to exaggerate Su’s gloom, but an unspoken anguish works its way into most of his art. His paintings beckon toward an isolation that is as moral as it is esthetic, so completely existential is its underpinnings.
SANDRA SIDER on Rosie Lee Tompkins at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Roberta Smith has referred to Tompkins’s quilts as “pictorial powerhouses,” an apt description since the energetic color in these surfaces virtually spins the quilts off the wall—as if Anni Albers were inspired by the Jitterbug.
DAVID COHEN on Phoebe Washburn at Zach Feuer
Because it is a zany exploration of progress and decay, this is a work that, by its very nature, will unfold and only fully realize itself with the passage of time
DAVID CARRIER on Katya Mezhibovskaya at Chashama ABC
Mezhibovskaya’s art is the most devastating commentary on Art Since 1900 and the most original supplement to Duchamp’s ready mades and Danto’s commentary on Brillo Box that I have had the pleasure to discover.
DAVID COHEN on Philip Pearlstein at Betty Cuningham
Ostensibly, the subject of his relentless scrutiny over the last four decades has been the nude in the interior, and yet, for all the pounds of flesh and claustrophobic constructions of actual, lived in and worked in space these pictures present, the paintings are imbued with such a denial of emotion, connection or purposeful activity as to rob them of the defining characteristics of the interior genre.
In the July/August 2008 issue:
NORA GRIFFIN on Mike Nemire at Janet Kurnatowski
JOE FYFE on Emily Kame Kngwarreye at National Art Center, Tokyo
JONATHAN GOODMAN on Xiong Wenyu at Three Shadows, Beijing
NORA GRIFFIN on Tensegrity at Klaus von Nichtssagend
DAVID COHEN on Cy Twombly at Tate Modern, London
In the June 2008 issue:
STEPHANIE BUHMANN on Olafur Eliasson at PS1 and the East River
JOHN GOODRICH on Peter Heinemann at Gallery Schlesinger
DAVID COHEN on Delia Brown at D'Amelio Terras and Hilary Harkness at Mary Boone
DAVID COHEN on Walton Ford at Paul Kasmin and Neo Rauch at David Zwirner
MORGAN TAYLOR on Nicolas Carone at Washburn
JONATHAN GOODMAN on Eduardo Santiere at Haim Chanin
PIRI HALASZ on Kenneth Noland at Leslie Feely
SANDRA SIDER on (un)common threads at Michael Rosenfeld
CATHY NAN QUINLAN on Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine
DAVID COHEN on Milton Resnick at Cheim & Read
PIRI HALASZ on Jilaine Jones at the New York Studio School
DAVID BRODY on Jess at Tibor de Nagy
DAVID COHEN on Dawn Mellor at Team
DAVID COHEN on Catherine Murphy at Knoedler & Company
ERIC GELBER on David Kinast at Winkleman DAVID CARRIER on Dara Friedman at Gavin Brown
THE CRAFT OF CRITICISM
David Cohen discusses his work with DEBORAH SOLOMON
- live recording at the New York Studio School, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
archive by subject archive by author archive by month The Review Panel
for letters to the editor and all other correspondence, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
"artcritical," "artcritical.com" and "The Review Panel" (c) artcritical, LLC 2003
DISPATCHES: MICK FINCH Notes from... Paris: Bridget Riley and Peter Doig
In his first dispatch from Paris, Mick Finch ponders simultaneous shows of two artists, Bridget Riley and Peter Doig, both active in Britain but from different generations, whose contrastive relations to Post-Impressionism proved instructive.
DISPATCHES: GREG LINDQUIST
Notes from... North Carolina
In the first of a new series of dispatches from around the US and the world by regular contributors, GREG LINDQUIST charts developments in his native North Carolina
SEAN SCULLY ON MORANDI
© Giorgio Morandi by SIAE 2008
ELISABETH SHERMAN on Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers
Every fall, like so many New Yorkers, I find my myself returning to September 11, 2001 in search of a new way to understand an event that has fundamentally shaped our times. Since 2004, the year in which it was published, I have perennially revisited Art Spiegelman’s book, In the Shadow of No Towers.
LISTEN TO THE
MAY 2008 REVIEW PANEL
R.C. Baker, Carly Berwick and Peter Plagens join David Cohen to review the 2008 Whitney Biennial
DAVID CARRIER on Art Power by Boris Groys
LISTEN TO THE
Groys discusses fundamental topics: the nature of the art market; the connection between museums and contemporary art; the role of curators; the relation of film to art; the place of video in the museum; the art critic’s position; art and terrorism; Hitler’s art theory; socialist realist art; the goals of cultural studies; the effects of privatization in Russia; and the roles of minorities in Europe.
APRIL 2008 REVIEW PANEL
Dore Ashton, Joshua Mack and Stephen Maine join David Cohen to review JULIAN HATTON at Elizabeth Harris, BYRON KIM at Max Protetch, ALEXANDER ROSS at Marianne Boesky and at David Nolan, and TABAIMO at James Cohan
Tribute to the late art historian
Michael Podro by DAVID CARRIER
Paintings, Michael Podro wrote, “address us, and they do so in part through creating uncertainty.” The spectator, he explained in a typical commentary, is drawn into Rembrandt’s group portraits because they “surround the present objects with a sense of atmosphere, so that the spaces between objects are felt as part of a homogenous optical effect,” making us “aware of an interplay between those objects and our own mental life.” Few writers employ words economically to such good effect as he consistently did.
LISTEN TO THE
MARCH 2008 REVIEW PANEL
Svetlana Alpers, Phong Bui and Linda Nochlin join David Cohen to review Jeff Wall, Michal Rovner, Catherine Sullivan, Dan Walsh and Silvia Bächli
MERLIN JAMES on Francis Picabia
A welcome notion of George Baker's much fêted new book on Picabia, Merlin James discovers, is
that Picabia was less the nihilistic anti-artist than he is often seen to be, that he found, through and beyond Dada's rupturing and refusal of meaning, a new space for affirmation and signification, indeed for joy and love.
LISTEN TO THE
FEBRUARY 2008 REVIEW PANEL
James Gardner, Barry Schwabsky and Robert Storr join David Cohen to review Katy Grannan, William Kentridge, Jane Freilicher, Ellen Berkenblitt and Chris Martin
DEBORAH GARWOOD on The Theatre of the Face: Portrait Photography since 1900 by Max Kozloff
LISTEN TO THE
DECEMBER 2007 REVIEW PANEL
Ben Davis, Lance Esplund and Lilly Wei join David Cohen to review TARA DONOVAN at the Met, ANNE HARRIS at Alexandre, BHARTI KHER at Jack Shainman, DAVID REED at Max Protetch and ZHANG HUAN at the Asia Society
LISTEN TO NOVEMBER'S REVIEW PANEL
Arthur Danto, Vincent Katz and Linda Yablonsky join David Cohen to discuss KARA WALKER at the Whitney and at Sikkema Jenkins, KAREN YASINSKY at Mireille Mosler, ISAAC JULIEN at Metro Pictures, KATE SHEPHERD at Galerie Lelong and ANTONY GORMLEY at Sean Kelly