The writings of Donald Judd are triumphantly matter-of-fact. The sculptor, who died in 1994 at the age of sixty-five, was decisive even about his second thoughts and doubts. “Cocksure certainty and squirming uncertainty are both wrong,” he once wrote. “It’s possible to think and act without being simple and fanatic …
Derain, Balthus, Giacometti: Une amitié artistique [Derain, Balthus, Giacometti: An Artistic Friendship]
an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, June 2–October 29, 2017
Some of the darkest, most beautifully saturnine dimensions of the modern imagination are explored in an extraordinary exhibition mounted in Paris this summer. “Derain, Balthus, Giacometti: Une amitié artistique,” at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, plunges visitors into the melancholy of modernism, but a melancholy …
an exhibition at Tate Modern, London, December 1, 2016–April 2, 2017; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, May 21, 2017–September 17, 2017; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, November 4, 2017–March 25, 2018
Robert Rauschenberg was a showman, a trickster, a shaman, and a charmer. In the retrospective that recently closed at Tate Modern in London and will be arriving at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this May, museumgoers are confronted with many different things: the imprint of an automobile tire; a couple of rocks tied with pieces of rope or string; paintings that are all white, all black, or all red; a sheet and pillow spattered with paint; a drawing by Willem de Kooning that Rauschenberg erased; deconstructed corrugated cardboard boxes; bright silken banners; a blinking light; a taxidermied Angora goat; mixed-media works mounted on wheels so as to be easily moved around; and paintings packed with photographic images. Rauschenberg’s career is the fool’s errand of twentieth-century American art.
an exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, October 23, 2016–January 29, 2017; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, March 11–May 29, 2017
Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné
edited by Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori
Universal acceptance, however desired, has its problems. The critics and historians, as they heap on the praise and outdo one another in feats of analytical subtlety, can smooth out the quirks and complexities that give an artist’s work its stand-alone power. Richard Diebenkorn was beginning to receive this kind of …
Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France
an exhibition at the Frick Collection, New York City, July 12–October 2, 2016
There are painters who aim for a direct, blunt-force power. They marshal colors, shapes, figures, signs, and symbols to convey the strongest possible experiences and emotions. Caravaggio was that kind of painter. So was Rogier van der Weyden, at least when he painted a Crucifixion. In the work of these …
an exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York City, October 30, 2015–January 18, 2016
The search for patterns, root causes, and overarching forces is universal, shaping thought about the visual arts as it does every other field of inquiry. But there are times when this search, admirable and essential as it is, can blind us to the powerful part that less predictable forces play …
“The photographer Duane Michals is a law unto himself,” writes Jed Perl in the Review’s February 19, 2015 issue. “In a career spanning more than half a century he has worked in both utilitarian black-and-white and luxuriant color, produced slapstick self-portraits, evoked erotic daydreams, pamphleteered against art world fashions, and painted whimsical abstract designs on vintage photographs. You would be in for a disappointment if you expected a sober summing up in “Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals,” the big retrospective of the eighty-two-year-old artist’s career that is currently at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Michals remains aggressively idiosyncratic, the curator of his own overstuffed, beguiling, disorderly imagination.” Here we present a series of Michals’s photo-sequences, with commentary drawn from Perl’s piece.
In Stella, we have the curious case of an artist who merges the speculative intellectual spirit of a philosopher-painter with the aggressive muscularity of a sculptor whose taste runs to industrial-strength technologies.