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TOM LEVINE New Paintings

In this recent series of earth tone infused canvases, Tom Levine seeks to redefine the terms of engagement with his medium.


Growing up in the rural Swiss village of Winterthur, Heidi Bucher (1926 – 93) was expected to marry a man who would carry on the family construction business. She rebelled.

He-Who-Must-Be-Named is Sigmar Polke!

Sigmar Polke was a master magician among the principal tricksters of art history, a mischief-maker of illusions of illusion itself, not to mention reality, whatever, of course, we believed prior to witnessing his slights of hand.


Scottish artist Ken Currie emerged in the 1980s as one of four figurative painters dubbed the “New Glasgow Boys,” alongside Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, and Adrian Wiszniewski.

LANDON METZ Michael Jackson Penthouse

In the form of a small Hudson Valley home at 438 Carroll Street, Retrospective Gallery recently presented Landon Metz with the opportunity to explore the potential for his paintings to intervene in, and in doing so to rearticulate, a particular space.


A cursory glance at Peter Campus’s exhibition shows large, elegantly composed harbor and seaside images of sailboats, dredgers, cranes, fishing boats, and trawlers at dockside. Look longer and Campus’s surfaces come alive, showing varying degrees of visual activity.


Just in case anyone out there is still arguing about form versus function in ceramics, Kathy Butterly’s recent exhibit settles the score: form has won. These 12 small scale—but not diminutive—pieces make the argument cogently.

Jennifer Bornstein, Judith Bernstein, and Frances Stark

For West Wall, Dwan Main Gallery (1967), a now classic exhibition presented in 2008 at Peter Blum, Chelsea, William Anastasi photographed an empty gallery, silkscreened that image onto a slightly smaller canvas, and installed that work on the wall, making “the wall . . . a kind of ready-made mural,” thus changing “every show in that space thereafter.”

CONNIE FOX Sammy’s Beach

In 1979, at the urging of her friend and colleague, the painter Elaine de Kooning (1918 – 89), Connie Fox moved to East Hampton. Almost daily, the two walked and swam at Sammy’s Beach, a local flat strand of shoreline.


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.

FORREST BESS Seeing Things Invisible

“I feel like a pelican in a church,” Forrest Bess wrote to his dealer, Betty Parsons, in 1949. He was staying at a friend’s house in Woodstock, New York, painting and passing time until the opening of his first show in December of that same year.

FRIEDRICH KUNATH The Temptation to Exist (May Contain Nuts)

hat do rainbow file folders, a scratching post, and German Romantic painting have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a riddle, but these things are part of the rebus that is Friedrich Kunath’s latest exhibition at the Andrea Rosen Gallery.

JOANNE GREENBAUM Hallowed Laughter in a Hall of Mirrors

Joanne Greenbaum’s new paintings are full of stuff; very few areas are left open or unattended. In many of these new pieces, colored pencil, marker, or crayon lines run over the surface, giving the feeling of a child let loose. On first impression this creates a powerful energetic field.

ALLAN WEXLER Breaking Ground

When Allan Wexler looks into the forest he sees its trees as nature’s I-beams, their leafy boughs as protective rooftop canopies. More interested in dwellings for the human spirit than in constructing habitable spaces, Wexler’s architecture-as-sculpture-as installation-as conceptual art isn’t easy to pin down.

Bill Cunningham Facades

Bill Cunningham: Facades is at once, an elaborate game of dress-up and a thorough documentation of American fashion, running the gamut from colonial to contemporary styles. Initially a photo essay printed in paperback and published during the spring of 1978, the 88 gelatin prints donated by the photographer are now on display at the New York Historical Society in an exhibition of the same name.

Report from Mexico City

Towards the end of March I traveled to Mexico City for the first time. I was there for the publication launch of a new literary arts magazine, diSONARE, as well as to seek out the vibrant art scene I had heard so much of over the course of the past few years. Upon landing I was immediately overwhelmed by the ecstatic colors, sounds, and foreign smells of the sprawling metropolis, which presented themselves as an unrelenting assault on the senses.

Magnificent Obsession: Joann Gedney, The Early Paintings, 1948 – 1963

Magnificent Obsession: Joann Gedney, The Early Paintings, 1948 – 1963, curated by Gregory de la Haba at Rox Gallery, is an art historian’s dream come true: the discovery of a pristine body of work documenting the life and oeuvre of an unknown Abstract Expressionist. In addition to the paintings and drawings selected for the show, there are scores of others in the painter’s Village townhouse, as well as boxes of diaries, notes, and letters that complete a rich background and historical context.

Leslie Wayne, Rags

Leslie Wayne’s sharp show of new work continues her interest in paint not as an embellishment on canvas but rather a physical material in its own right. She’s always done fine things with the medium, but in this exhibition, entitled Rags, the artist takes her ongoing, nearly obsessive interest in oil paint to a new level, draping paint so that it bends and folds as fabric might.


During the months of March and April in both Barcelona and Madrid, the curatorial project Jugada a Tres Bandas proposes to galleries that they interrupt their usual schedule and invite independent curators to organize exhibitions that include non-gallery artists.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2014

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