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Some Thoughts, Possibly Related, on Time, Criticism, and the Nature of Consciousness

Thanks, everyone, for coming. You’re all sitting down so nicely for this lecture, which is a lecture in 10 sections—or, more accurately, a rough draft of a lecture, with you all as my test audience.

Unpainted Paintings

T. J. Clark noted that “flatness was construed as a barrier put up against the viewer’s normal wish to enter a picture and dream.” This prohibition has become irrevocably ensnarled in the woolly history of reductive painting.

JANE FREILICHER Recent Paintings and Prints

Jane Freilicher embarked upon her enduring subject in the mid 1950s, at the height of Abstract Expressionism. For nearly 60 years, and through the comings and goings of different styles (Pop art, Minimalism, Conceptual art, Neo-Expressionism), she has painted a vase of flowers in front of a window.

JIM NUTT Coming Into Character

e are told by Jennifer R. Gross, in the catalogue accompanying this focused exhibition of Jim Nutt’s work (even with 70 paintings and drawings it is not a retrospective or a survey), that the artist “has expressed surprise that his unidentified women have been seen as male rather than as the clearly female subjects he intended.

Powders, a Phial, and a Paper Book

Looking beyond the literal connection between the materials utilized in Powders, a Phial, and a Paper Book, a group show at Marlborough, Chelsea, and the exhibition’s titular references to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it is the dated milieu of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel that most clearly resonates with the odd feel of this exhibition.


Some artists make work out of a desire to become famous. For others, the act of making is a means of battling creative demons, a flushing of the system rooted in the equalization of the ego and its competing demands for fulfillment, formation, and release.


“Those are some good drinking songs,” the painter Valton Tyler observes, referring to some of country music’s classic, she-broke-my-heart, my-baby-left-me weepers that come streaming through his radio as he barrels down a six-lane highway amidst the urban sprawl of Garland, Texas.

A Tribute to Alan Uglow

For more than 20 years, I lived next door to Alan Uglow. His presence, sloping down the Bowery in his signature pencil black pants and Swedish policeman’s leather jacket, seemed one of life’s permanences.


Since the mid-1990s, the Danish-born, Berlin-based artist Henrik Olesen has used collage, sculpture, and spatial intervention to investigate the social construction of identity and its historiography.


In works like “Bill Clinton, the Lippo Group, and Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas 5th Version” Mark Lombardi researched relationships among the world’s most powerful people: politicians, financial manipulators, out-and-out crooks, and laid them out on huge drawings in the form of diagrammatic networks.

Eugène Leroy and the Fle(mi)sh Figure

French Flanders, the lowlands along the Belgian border stretching between the cities of Lille and Dunkirk, is the favorite locale of film director Bruno Dumont.

TIPI: Heritage of the Great Plains

Having grown up in the Great Plains and studied some of its history, I was troubled to read, after moving to Brooklyn, E. B. White’s taxonomy (in the 1949 essay Here Is New York) that breaks New Yorkers down into “natives,” “settlers,” and “commuters.”

The Days of This Society Are Numbered

The Abrons Arts Center showcases the rich horror that constitutes social entropy in an exhibition aptly titled The Days of This Society Are Numbered. Curator-in-residence Miguel Amado found the show’s inspiration from words uttered by French Marxist theorist Guy Debord in 1979.

DANA SCHUTZ Drawings & Prints

Each figure is doing something absurd, impossible, and mundane, simultaneously swimming, smoking, and crying; using his front teeth as a wood chipper or plane; sleeping comfortably under a pile of coffin-like shapes (an inversion of the princess and the pea); talking on the phone while neatly cutting one’s eyelashes without blinking.

BEYOND “WHAT YOU SEE”: Rethinking Abstract Painting as a Signifying Process

The four artists who are included in an exhibition at the Po Kim / Sylvia Wald Foundation on Lafayette Street maintain a perpetual dialogue about painting and frequently show their work together in various parts of Germany. Of

EMILY MASON Recent Paintings

Although one can sense that Emily Mason’s paintings owe much to both Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction, it is impossible to readily ascribe any elements of her work to either school. There is something undecipherable and illegible about her process and something remarkably self-contained about her spirit.


I am not sure when I noticed that “5 against 4” (2010 – 2011) and“Pharynx Dentata” (2010) faced each other from opposite walls, like confident duelers and lifelong partners.

JEAN CROTTI Inhabiting Abstraction

In April 1916, Jean Crotti (1878 – 1958) was in an exhibition at the Montross Gallery, New York, along with Marcel Duchamp, Albert Gleizes, and Jean Metzinger. The newspaper dubbed them “The Four Musketeers.”


Re: "Hard-Edgeness in American Abstract Painting" by Robert C. Morgan in the print edition of March 2011 issue


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2011

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