Over the past fifty years Jack Whitten has developed a rigorous personal vocabulary within abstraction, linking ancient mosaics with contemporary process painting. His first solo exhibition with Hauser & Wirth is currently on view.
In her beautiful, hard, and certain essay, “The Love of God and Affliction,” the religious philosopher Simone Weil said: “The great enigma of human life is not suffering but affliction.
The first time I met Eugene (“Gene”) Lemay, the artist, founder, and president of Mana Contemporary, was when our mutual friend, the artist Ray Smith, brought him, fellow artist Yigal Ozeri, and Ysabel Pinyol, Curatorial Director of Mana, to see the exhibit Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1 at Industry City in early November 2013.
In 1999, I had an exhibition of my recent paintings at a gallery in Paris. At dinner following the opening, I was seated next to an art collector who spoke minimal English to complement my minimal French.
John Berger died just as the United States of America was crossing over from the triumph of neoliberalism to the final melding of corporate power with state power that defines fascism.
In the 1980s David Salle’s achingly cold paintings of layered and collaged images helped define postmodern sensibilities. More recently he’s emerged as an idiosyncratic voice in art criticism, publishing essays in ARTnews, The Paris Review, Artforum, and (from 2013 – 15) in a regular column in Town & Country.
On a recent trip to London to see the historic Abstract Expressionism exhibition curated by David Anfam at the Royal Academy, I visited the studio of Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy since 2011, and the youngest to be elected since Lord Frederic Leighton in 1878.
In some ways, we all need a poetical shelter to stay within ourselves and protect our own silence. Its a very loud time. We never know if our words are from us, or just the echo of somebody else.
“What Forms of Making Might Spin the Stories We Need to Lift Ourselves from the Distractions of the Immediate?”
ANN HAMILTON with Thyrza Nichols Goodeve
Ann Hamilton and I have been missing one another for decades. First in 1990, when Ida Panicelli (then editor of Artforum) asked me to write about Hamilton’s show at Capp Street in San Francisco, but because I lived in Santa Cruz, I had not seen the exhibition, and soon the magazine changed editors. She and I did meet in the late ’90s, when I was Senior Instructor at the Whitney Independent Study Program. I invited her to give a seminar only to learn later that my invitations to her and Matthew Barney were viewed in hindsight by the director as embarrassments (both were too “mystical”), which placed a pall over my contacting her again. But then I discovered another missed moment in my files while prepping for this conversation: correspondence with her and the editors at Art in America for a conversation that for some reason never happened and which I had totally forgotten.