Smith writes: "Mr. Kitchen works fast and loose on tablet-size canvases, reducing painting’s proclivity for grand gesture to a series of intimate scribbles, lines, dots, notional marks and hints of initials and artists’ signatures, as well as landscape studies and textile design. They have wonderful palettes and exude an effortless, tossed-off charm that is easy to underestimate. Seeing them in a group, however, emphasizes a careful system that accommodates a startling amount of variety."
Kalm notes that Guston "was an essential member of the New York painting community, achieving major institutional and critical recognition during the 1950s. Despite this success, in the late 1950s he began questioning many of the propositions of Abstract Expressionism with which he’d become associated. Organized by Paul Schimmel, this selection of 36 paintings and 53 drawings, traces the development of Guston’s work during this transitional period from abstraction to the beginnings of his iconic figurative works."
Christine Hughes interviews painter Ellen E. Rand on the occasion of Rand's recent exhibition at Figureworks, Brooklyn.
Rand comments: "Years ago, when I was at the Met, I saw a Manet painting of a sailor in a boat with one or two women. I like to read some of the information about a painting – when, where, who the artist knew, but the card next to the painting said that the artist painted out the original placement of the rope and put it in a different place because the 'dynamics of the diagonals of the expressions of…' and on and on. I thought, no! He painted it out because he didn’t like the way it looked! I do feel that an awful lot of art now is just an illustration of a thought or an idea, not something that comes from inside."
MacAdam writes: "Reed’s work has always been marked by a peculiar lushness manifesting itself in ribbons of variegated color unfolding at a seductive pace. The baroque forms often intertwine in dense configurations against flat solid-tone photo-like backgrounds. Here, though, we have a deconstruction, the parts disassembled and given star turns, and a strong sense of self-consciousness prevails. This is truly art about art, yielding a kind of biography, or the painting’s autobiography, and it includes Reed’s entire painterly history."
Rob Colvin reviews Serge Poliakoff at Cheim & Read, New York, on view through April 30, 2016.
Colvin writes: "Why the artist fell of the map isn’t as clear as why he’s getting put back on it. Poliakoff’s ability to fracture and mend space, illuminate flat planes, and structure abstract forms into a figural unity is as instructive to contemporary painting as it is awakening to witness."
Addison Parks considers the paintings of Etel Adnan.
Parks writes: "When left to one's own devices the focus is where it belongs, on the world around us, on the wonder around us. Klee, Dove, Frankenthaler, Avery, and Adnan, this is what they have in common. This simplicity. This clarity. This integrity. This center. This heart. This inner light."
James Kalm visits the exhibition Nathlie Provosty: (the third ear) at Nathlie Karg Gallery, New York, on view through May 8, 2016. In addition to a walk-through of the show, Kalm talks with Provosty about the work.
The gallery press release notes that "the exhibition plumbs the phenomenon of visual inaudible sound. Inaudible sound is sound that humans physically respond to, although they cannot hear it. Provosty proposes that this inaudible territory parallels the unseeable areas just outside the color spectrum. Her paintings therefore utilize colors at the far reaches of the spectrum, coupled with surfaces that vibrate and disappear, activating an expanded multi-sensory experience." Provosty expands on this notion, commenting: "Even thought they're paintings, I think of them as moving images, and in that way much more related to film or sculpture..."
Seamen notes that the "difficulty translating the visual into verbal is not just an indicator of the paintings’ complexity. Stephen Greene was a figurative artist until the mid 1950s, and in these works he seems not only to have rejected external referents but even the most basic narrative, such as the progression of the paint as it was applied to the canvas, or a coherent sense of cause and effect in the interaction of the elements. While never feeling arbitrary, the forms seem to simply appear in the paintings, each a universe in itself..."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.