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Hearne Pardee

Hearne Pardee is an artist and writer based in New York and California, where he teaches at the University of California, Davis.

In Conversation

WAYNE THIEBAUD with Hearne Pardee

At age 98, Thiebaud still paints and plays tennis daily; spanning more than 50 years and a range of themes, his works reflect his commitment to the material and tradition of painting. His selections from the museum's collection exhibit the wide range of his enthusiasms, leavened with wit and intelligence.

STANLEY WHITNEY Other Colors I Forget

Breaking boundaries is basic to our notion of creativity.

Kanak, L’Art est une Parole

Kanak, l’Art est une Parole, which has been on view in the museum’s Jardin Gallery since October, extends a long-standing dialogue with New Caledonia—a French island territory with a rich Melanesian heritage, where the drama of colonialism is still unfolding.


In Metaphors on Vision, filmmaker Stan Brakhage records a 1963 visit to poet Charles Olson in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the hometown that Olson mined geographically and poetically for the final decades of his life.


I recently visited with Wayne Thiebaud as he prepared to travel to New York for his current exhibition at Aquavella Galleries; our conversation turned to public projects, and he asked if I knew of his 1957 mural on the headquarters of the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) building.

Letter from Paris

A poster in the Paris Métro this summer features a recreation of Delacroix’s famous Liberty Leading the People, only in place of Delacroix’s statuesque woman, the World Wildlife Fund’s giant panda carries the French flag.


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.

HÉLIO OITICICA To Organize Delirium

Inspired by Nietzsche and Malevich in his precocious development as a geometric abstractionist, Hélio Oiticica also absorbed some of his entomologist father’s scientific precision.

Metaphysical Masterpieces 1916—1920: Morandi, Sironi and Carra

A general mood of melancholy isolation prevails. Dynamic exuberance is replaced by methodical composition, as though fastidious fabrication could generate visions.

CLINT JUKKALA Cosmic Trigger

Clint Jukkala’s new paintings call to mind René Magritte’s “False Mirror” (1928): a close-up look into an eye that opens out into clouds and sky. Jukkala’s circular shapes, outlined in bright colors, also become both eyes and windows, and pose similar perceptual conundrums.

Letter from SINGAPORE

A fantasy city on the far side of the world, Singapore combines modern planning with intimations of tropical escape. It acknowledges our jaded taste for luxury while arousing utopian dreams.

Dona Nelson: Stretchers Strung Out On Space

At a time when paintings are projected on walls or traded as digital tokens, Dona Nelson continues to engage viewers in close interaction with painting’s materials: fabric, liquid, and wooden supports.

Juan Uslé: Horizontal Light

These are process paintings with existential weight: the five large paintings and related smaller works shown here are grounded in life’s basics, with modulations in the density and spacing of their stacked arrays of repeated brushstrokes, made with a pulsing motion that is derived from the artist’s own heartbeat.


The recent re-installation of paintings at the new Whitney Museum provides a natural context for Alex Katz’s show of thirteen large landscape paintings at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and inspires reflection on the combination of European modernism with indigenous tendencies ranging from regionalism to the sublime in American landscape painting.

LOIE HOLLOWELL: Point of Entry

In her impressive debut exhibition at Pace Gallery’s recently opened space in Palo Alto, Loie Hollowell compresses powerful, evocative images into highly crafted objects.

WAYNE THIEBAUD Memory Mountains

Wayne Thiebaud’s Memory Mountains, a survey of 48 paintings and drawings going back to 1962, calls to mind an old song, “The Big Rock Candy Mountain,” partly because the mountains’ confectionary colors and stratified pigments recall those of the artist’s well known paintings of cakes and pies, but also because the cartoonish imagery of many of the paintings evoke, like the song, a fantastic never-never land—an ironic take on the American sublime.

STUART SHILS because i have no interest in these questions...

After years as a landscape painter, Stuart Shils has assembled a wide-ranging show at Steven Harvey, integrating painting, photography, and sculpture, often in the same piece.

Jack Whitten: Transitional Space, A Drawing Survey

Deeply involved with materials, Whitten is well known for having devised novel tools to make massive paintings. Here, he shows himself equally at home on a modest scale and with a range of new mediums.

Erik Olson: Through the States

The 20 hand-colored etchings of Erik Olson’s Through the States, an online exhibition hosted by Luis de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, document a motorcycle trip, but as the virtual gallery interweaves text and images, they assume the guise of an animated scrapbook or graphic novel.

Joshua Marsh: Seven Cascades

The 12 modest paintings on view at Mother Gallery take on the ambitious challenge of Asian landscape painting. They are accompanied by five small but richly worked graphite drawings that hark back to Marsh’s 2016 residency at a garden north of Tokyo, where he experienced an autonomous realm of design based in nature.


As video ergo sum, a new retrospective at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, tracks Campus’s investigation of the self from early interactive installations into recent “videographs” of landscapes, key mid-career works are concurrently featured in circa 1987 at Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York.

BILL JENSEN Transgressions

Willem de Kooning once dismissively described the Oriental idea of beauty as “it isn’t here.” De Kooning preferred objects “in relation to man,” with “no souls of their own.”

As I Went Walking

While her earlier paintings consisted mainly of close-up renderings of man-made surfaces, her concern here is with measurement.


The sort of self-examination Susanna Coffey has practiced over the past three decades is far from the passive self-absorption often criticized in contemporary media.

Water Lilies: American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet

Restored after they were damaged in World War II, these works, once condemned as monotonous and without structure, suddenly found an audience of young American abstract painters taken by their radiant, horizonless cycles of sunrise and sunset attuned to the expansive mood of postwar America.

ELENA SISTO Afternoons

In the late 1980s, Elena Sisto made a series of paintings of empty picture frames, directing attention to the conventional moldings and materials that normally surround an image.

California Landscapes: Richard Diebenkorn / Wayne Thiebaud

In iconic works from the Bay Area Figurative Movement, Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud defined a California vernacular in the early 1960s—Diebenkorn with suburban views of figures at windows and Thiebaud with arrays of desserts.

Rona Pondick: Works 2013 – 2018

Using a combination of casting, 3D printing, and hand modeling, Pondick has refined her methods of fabrication in pigmented resin and cast acrylic, which she combines in constantly changing relationships.


Poet Charles Olson advised his colleagues to think in terms of millennia, setting their local coordinates of place and history in the proper perspective. Photographer Meridel Rubenstein goes one better with her embrace of geological “deep time” embedded in Indonesian volcanoes. Part of a larger project, Eden Turned on its Side, the imposing digital photo works from The Volcano Cycle at Brian Gross unite science, religion, and art.

Lois Dodd

Inaugurating Alexandre Gallery’s new space on the Lower East Side, this exhibition of twenty-seven paintings spans the imposing length and breadth of Lois Dodd’s career.

Louise Fishman: An Hour is a Sea

Originally intended for Frieze New York, the works went online due to current events, but one can’t escape the sense that the digital format, while denying us the materiality so vital in Fishman’s work, enhances our experience in other ways, enlarging the paintings’ scope as if to compensate for their physical absence.


Just as Matisse once commented that he was fascinated by window views because they allowed distant things to share the space of objects in his studio, the relationship between these two artists rests on surprising connections across space and time.

Me, Myself and I (A Group Show)

Like an athlete bent on extreme challenges, Spencer Finch tests the limits of visibility. Here, in works on paper from the past ten years, he applies his observational powers to the colors of the Pacific Ocean or California darkness.

Letter From New York: Marcin Muchalski and David Rhodes

The pairing of the works in the online gallery—Muchalski with 23 photographs and Rhodes with six paintings and four works on paper—brings out a common luminosity, like a recollection of lived experience, as the refined tones of Muchalski’s black-and-white photos coax echoes of tonality from Rhodes’s closely spaced bands of black.


Perceptual psychologists have long dismissed the notion that our brain records images like a camera; seeing is an interactive process of grazing, in a visual field that extends around us on all sides, rather than a series of flat images projected to a single point. Yet photographic images retain special authority as records of visual experience. In his current exhibition, James Hyde undertakes to dislodge this persistent prejudice.

Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings

Visitors seeking comfort in paintings of desserts will find old favorites like Pies, Pies, Pies (1961), but the larger body of Thiebaud’s works challenges us with levels of visual invention and expressive depth that link the visionary potential of comics to his disciplined investigation of the image and its material field.


Just as Impressionists brought viewers into contact with the reception of light in the eye, Susan Wides immerses them in the more active process of focus.

Pastel Scatter (1972)

A distillation of pure color and dramatic light effects, Wayne Thiebaud’s Pastel Scatter (1972) seems to be a spontaneous gesture, yet it’s evident that it is rendered in the methodical technique Thiebaud developed in his 1960s paintings of pies and ice cream cones.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

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