Posts Tagged ‘paintings’
September 27, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
Suellen Rocca’s “Bare Shouldered Beauty: Works from 1965 to 1969” is showing at Matthew Marks Gallery through October 22. In the late sixties, Rocca was part of the Hairy Who, a group of six imagist artists from Chicago; their exhibitions gained renown for their magpie approach, drawing influences from pop culture, magazines, comic books, and “trash treasures,” as Rocca’s collaborator Ray Yoshida called them. Rocca has referred to her work from this period as her “autobiography.” “I was this young mother making these paintings,” she told Hyperallergic last year. “It was a wonderful period. My son would take a nap and I’d rush to my knotty pine studio and work on a painting. Having a toddler and a baby and all these exciting shows, it was wonderful. It was a happy time.”
September 16, 2016 | by Mary Jacobus
These images, selected from my book Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint, indicate the range and provocation of Cy Twombly’s works on canvas and paper, pointing especially to his inventive use of literary quotation and allusion throughout his long career and his relation to poetry as an inspiration for his art.
Twombly’s working copy of a paperback translation of Three Secret Poems, by the twentieth-century Greek poet George Seferis, shows his hands-on approach to quotation and revision as well as paint stains from his work in progress. A number of marked passages reappear in Twombly’s paintings of the mid-1990s, notably in Quattro Stagioni (1993–94) and Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor (finally completed in 1994).
September 7, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
August 9, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
Peyton Freiman’s exhibition “Long Gone and Missing” opens Wednesday, August 10, at Shin Gallery, in New York. Freiman, based in Brooklyn, uses his work to explore “feelings of disillusionment with institutional systems,” with a special fondness for “jejune colloquialisms.” His show is up through September 10.
August 3, 2016 | by Bonnie Nadzam
Revisited is a series in which writers look back on a work of art they first encountered long ago.
In 1974, when they were honeymooning in Atlanta, my parents bought a portrait of Ulysses S. Grant—not the one pictured above, but something close enough. They spent fifty bucks on it: cash they’d won on a bet with my grandfather, wagering that Nixon would not see out his term.
The painting hung above our fireplace in northeast Ohio when I was a girl. It matters only peripherally that Grant was an actual man who lived and died in the nineteenth century; who was the eighteenth president of the United States; and who, as commanding general of the United States Army, led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the Civil War. What matters is how single-minded I found his gaze, his eyes staring down at me—to say nothing of the distinguished crinkle of the eyebrows above them, those bright buttons on his jacket, that thick beard and head of hair, sculpted like cake frosting. Read More »
July 29, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
- The hatchet job isn’t what it used to be. To read Tobias Smollett’s book reviews from the eighteenth century is to discover, as J. H. Pearl writes, ever-higher concentrations of venom: “Smollett, who helmed The Critical Review from 1756 to 1763, never minced words in his judgment of whether a particular text was worth the paper it was printed on … All Smollett needed, it seems, was a target for his wrath. And as the pages of the Review attest, targets abounded … Specific reviewers remained anonymous, the better to create the impression of a unified voice, but writers of badly reviewed books tended to blame Smollett, returning their fire on him. It’s easy to understand that anger. Would you want your book called ‘a very trivial, insipid, injudicious and defective performance, without plan, method, learning, accuracy, or elegance; an unmeaning composition of shreds, rags, and remnants … a patched, a pie-bald, linsey-woolsey nothing’? (That was the assessment of a book called A New and Accurate History of South-America.)”
- Because people excel at finding new ways to waste other people’s time, a small but vocal faction of conservative educators and politicians have called on our schools to start teaching cursive again. Tamara Thornton, the author of the 1996 book Handwriting in America, sees the reactionary anxiety at the center of their argument: “Learning cursive has never been just about learning how to express yourself in writing … In the early twentieth century, it’s about following models and suppressing your individuality … We get very interested in cursive when we feel that our morals are in a state of decline, all hell is breaking loose, people are doing whatever they want … And I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch that the sort of people who believe in the standard model of the family get very nervous when we depart from the standard models of the cursive script. So there have been periodic bouts of hysteria about the decline of cursive. And it’s always when we feel that as a society, we’re going down the tubes.”
- The artist Vik Muniz—clearly a very patient and detail-oriented man—has created a series of painstakingly accurate emulations of the backsides of famous paintings. Claire Voon writes, “With all their hardware—the wooden beams, wires, nails, and other knickknacks—the fading stickers, and the inked scribbles from the hands of conservators or handlers, the frames often reveal additional stories to the much-discussed paintings they cradle. You have to wonder if there’s a reason why someone, for instance, scrawled a north-facing arrow and the French word Haut on the Mona Lisa—essentially, shorthand for ‘This side up’ … The Mona Lisa was one of the largest challenges: Muniz had to buy a tree in Tennessee to re-create its frame, making sure to also precisely reconstruct the museum’s own contemporary update: an electronic device that monitors a gap nineteenth-century conservators had closed with a butterfly joint. If that gap widens a single micron, someone will receive a text notification.”
- Given the unhinged chaos that characterizes politics at the moment, why aren’t there more political novels? “My sense is that quite a few writers—and also their readers—feel somehow duty-bound to be in opposition; and what results is a certain lacuna in our collective imagination. Hanif Kureishi has lamented that, unlike in Dickens’s time, there is not one contemporary writer with ‘a sense of the whole society, from prisoner to home secretary.’ But there is often a difficulty for writers who adopt an overtly political stance. A novelist may set out purposefully to make a book that furthers a cause, but it is not likely to be any good, since good books don’t carry messages like sacks carry coal.”
- At the White Plains Annual Reptile Expo, Madeline Cash dissects the strange bond between lizard and lizard keeper: “That unspoken connection no one else could understand, which maybe didn’t even exist, echoed all over the Convention Center. A lizard’s inhuman qualities are its appeal. They are whatever you need them to be—loving, smiling, a good listener — because the relationship is all a projection … When I saw the bearded dragons, my heart swelled. The gold-breasted beasts had the same long mouths carved across their faces that, as a child, I’d understood to be a smile. The vendor handed one over in an attempt to make a sale off my nostalgia. It cocked its head up at me with that permanent grin and it all flooded back.”