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Enticing us with liquid surfaces of turquoise and pink, Bradford casts an ironic eye on conventional beach scenes, as water threatens to overflow and submerge us.


It has become a commonplace within contemporary art discourse to speak of placing objects in “conversation” with one another. In Gordon Hall’s AND PER SE AND, held at the Temple Contemporary, this phrase is stripped of its curatorial affectation and retooled, amplified.


Comprising a survey of twelve paintings, this exhibition presents a thoughtful overview of Yun Hyong-keun’s (1928 – 2007) quietly compelling work.

Carolanna Parlato: A Delicate Balance

As a style of painting, lyrical abstraction can too easily get short shrift as a histrionic sigh to the deeper draughts of abstract painting’s historical breadth. In general, the form tends to move away from the symmetry of compositional plotting toward a more rambling mapping of the picture plane. In doing so it can actually risk quite a bit in terms of painting’s clarifying limits for a wager on the optical choreography of the brushstroke.

Andrew Gbur

Andrew Gbur’s new paintings are fueled by an unexpected element of illusion. From a distance, graphically rendered images appear precisely delineated, but close up those very lines begin to waver, blur, and intersect. Over the past few years, the young Pennsylvania-based artist has created a number of works that feature isolated regions of color which coalesce into discernable images, most notably variations on a leering, disquieting gaze. In a series of large, Op-inflected paintings made in 2015, Gbur continues to rework everyday imagery as an exploration of the relationship between color and line.

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?

A Constellation challenges us to reflect on contemporary and historical politics of racial inclusion versus exclusion. It is remarkable not only for its diverse collection of artists and media, but because it embodies such a large scope of political themes. As we navigate through painting, photography, sculpture, large-scale, small-scale, and mixed-media works, we are confronted with subjects of race, identity, culture, gender, and economic inequality.

FRANCIS BACON Late Paintings

This selection of paintings Francis Bacon made in the last fifteen years of his life (1977 – 1992) shows how, by employing a seemingly narrow range of subjects, he created an impressive variety of pictures.

SARAH PLIMPTON Black Light: New Works

Sarah Plimpton’s new work, Black Light, at the June Kelly Gallery is, like her other paintings and books, instantly recognizable. Never would you say: “Oh, isn’t this like…?”

Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Carnegie Tech to New York

Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Carnegie Tech to New York,—featuring the work of three provocative artists—is as informative as it is pleasurable. As you enter the gallery you are faced with their ensemble photograph, taken on the front lawn of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Tech in the late 1940s, the beginning of their lifelong friendship.


Throughout his career, Jonathan Lasker has explored the gap between marks and signs. A mark refers primarily to itself, to its physical presence, while a sign signals a referent external to the painting, something known and recognizable.


In the final scenes of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), twelve-year-old Antoine Doinel escapes from a reform school soccer field in the middle of a game. While his fellow delinquent peers tread up and down the demarcated terrain, Doinel cuts loose.


In 2015, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University organized The Brood, Lisa Yuskavage’s first solo show at an American museum since a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia fifteen years prior.


Lori Ellison’s most recent show, which includes twenty-two works on paper and twenty-three paintings on panel, largely made during the last two years of her life, marks a fitting tribute to a life dedicated to art.

TIM CLIFFORD Threat Assessment

One might expect an exhibit about fear, gun culture, and violence by an artist who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School to be a meditation on trauma and mourning.

Recycling Religion

Recycling Religion represents a missed opportunity for a necessary discussion of a complex subject. “Recycled Thinking” would be a more appropriate title for this mishmash of tired Pop art, simplistic religious clichés, gadgetry, and scatology, that comes across as a traveling promotional for Marat Guelman’s stable and his new museum complex in Montenegro.

Design for Dying

In ancient civilizations, miniature structures of everyday life or the imagined afterlife were often placed alongside the deceased in tombs and burial sites. We are familiar with the funeral boats of ancient Egypt and the terracotta soldiers of ancient China; far less well known are the architectural models found in ancient Mesoamerican and Andean tombs.


Elisabeth Kley’s exhibition Ozymandias at the new Canada Gallery space, presents ten ceramic works; they are urns, bottles, and containers, and all the pieces are habitations of one sort or another.


The subject of Robert Ryman’s work is the relationship between light and matter; in particular, the relationship between a changing light and a specific surface.


Ralph Eugene Meatyard, a married father of three children, was an optician who lived and worked in Lexington, Kentucky, where he owned an eyeglass shop called “Eyeglasses of Kentucky.”

Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age

What is “Painting 1.0?” One would think that somewhere, anywhere, in an ambitious exhibition like Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age an attempt would be made to answer that question with clarity and conviction, if only to anchor the curatorial pinpointing of “Web 2.0” (defined as the shift to user-generated content and increased interactivity) as the new thing that has made painting so interesting today.

Letter from Cairo
IBRAHIM AHMED Pressing Fallacies

On December 29, 2015, Egyptian authorities raided and shuttered the internationally respected Townhouse Gallery (founded in 1998) in Cairo, along with its affiliate, the Rawabet theater—the most recent in a series of actions taken by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to quell dissention amongst the city’s cultural and artistic voices.


As the gallery essay points out, Paula Modersohn-Becker was more or less unrecognized as a painter when she died at the age of thirty-one in 1907. But her posthumous reputation rose quickly, in Germany today, she is looked on as a major presence in modern art (although awareness of her achievement is not so well established in America).


Feeling and seeing everything, you begin to feel and see nothing. What with the neverending cascade of bad news—the Paris attacks, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, Donald Trump—my senses had been deadened to such a degree that I had begun to steel myself against feeling in order to survive.

JOHN WALKER Looking Out to Sea

John Walker’s large-format plein air paintings are existential images, like Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1952), and Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above Sea and Fog (1818).


A collaborative husband-and-wife team, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov began to jointly sign their works in 1997 after separate, but concurrent, careers in Russia and the United States.


Elevated above seawater / The statuesque “Blond’s [towering] in the Sun [as a] Lifeguard.”


Edges travel with elation. Lines sag. / Wrinkles recall sages / Eager to impart wisdom to the troubled world.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

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