July 15, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
In his new exhibition at White Cube, “Self Portraits,” the painter Raqib Shaw insinuates himself into classics by the Old Masters. You’ll find him in the canvases below—carefully modeled after work by Antonello da Messina and Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger, among others—posing as a joker, a mime, and a ghost lying in his own coffin. Shaw, born in Calcutta, was raised in Kashmir and moved to London in 1998. In his paintings, the critic Norman Rosenthal has written, “Color achieves an almost blinding intensity and precision that exists in both a horrific, and beautiful universe derived from personal experience based on self-knowledge and dream psychology … mixed with a profound love and understanding of the history of visual and poetic culture of both East and West.”
Raqib Shaw’s self-portraits are at White Cube through September 11.
July 6, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
A survey of the Scottish artist Peter Howson’s prints, spanning decades of his work, opened today at Flowers Gallery in London. “I had nothing at all in 1984, nothing,” Howson said in a 2013 interview:
I didn’t have a penny. I was homeless for a year in Glasgow—I lived on the streets—and then suddenly I met this woman and she took me home and said: “Look, why don’t you just start drawing again.” So I started drawing and about a year later everything changed, the whole thing blew up and it was all about money coming in and fame and whatever, and then it all went wrong again. Theoretically, I shouldn’t be here because I’ve nearly died so many times, either with overdoses or with fights or violence or whatever, but I’m still here. There must be a reason for it.
June 29, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
“Intimisms,” a new group exhibition at James Cohan Gallery, looks at the legacy of the Intimists, a group of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists—Jean-Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard among them—remembered for the rich closeness and empathy of their portraiture. The French writer and critic Camille Mauclair defined intimism as “psychologic poetry in painting … a revelation of the soul through the things painted, the magnetic suggestion of what lies behind them through the description of the outer appearance, the intimate meaning of the spectacles of life … the daily tragedy and mystery of ordinary existence, and the latent poetry in things.” The artists in this exhibition aim to further that tradition.
June 21, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
Jay Miriam’s first solo show in New York, “Catch the Heavenly Bodies,” opens tonight at Half Gallery. “I think there’s something strange going on right now,” Miriam, who paints from memory, told Adult Magazine last year: “People aren’t okay with being ordinary. I think that sentiment has existed for a long time, but it feels really amplified right now with social media and our online culture, where everyone’s competing for attention, and even being normal is a trend. I don’t see ordinariness as negative. The characters in the paintings can be anyone. Even though I like painting women, they’re not necessarily defined as women … Now everyone is so aware of their behavior and how it looks to others, and there’s not the same freedom in our bodies.”
June 17, 2016 | by Tom Overton
In 1968, the CIA set out to recover a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine from the bottom of the Pacific. For the sake of discretion, the work was subcontracted to Global Marine (Glomar), a private company that specialized in ocean-floor drilling. When the journalist Harriet Ann Phillippi tried to find out more under the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA would “neither confirm nor deny” that there were documents about the ship used, the Glomar Explorer, or documents about their censorship. No information passed into the public sphere, but a new term did: “The Glomar Response.” It lives on, underpinning everything in Crofton Black and Edmund Clark’s book on more recent CIA activities, Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition. Read More »