Tuchman asks: "... was Degas more interested in making works that verged on abstraction or in communicating something more temporal and spatial, say, the swooshing of time and place passing? Once we raise this question, we need to consider whether we’ve transformed Degas into a reluctant modernist. After all, our eyes have been conditioned to look at his art in ways that are different than those experienced by his contemporaries. This is clear in the closing section of the show, which has a splendid selection of late oil paintings, pastels, and charcoal drawings. You see that the artist was extending the parameters of realism rather than pursuing the conventions of Impressionism."
Sharon Butler reviews Melissa Meyer: New Work at Lennon, Weinberg, New York, on view through May 7, 2016.
Butler notes: "My favorite piece in this absorbing show is a small diptych called Double Nature. ... The symbols themselves seem less tidy than those in earlier work, with one thin, dark, elongated zigzag mark on the left panel drawing my attention. It resembles the type of angular mark that might be made on a computer in Illustrator with the pen tool. Embracing digital tools to make drawings for the Art in Embassies project has clearly spilled over into Meyer's painting, prompting adventurous experimentation."
Parkinson concludes: "The question [Blannin] now seems to be asking in relation to this new source [Piero della Francesca's Madonna del Parto (c.1455-60)] might be 'what (geometric) system underpins the construction?' The task of deciphering the connection to the source is not much different to that of working out the systems upon which some of her other works are predicated. In both sets of production it is how the word becomes flesh; the relationship between system and resultant image, between abstract and concrete, pattern and material presence that interests me, as well as the fundamental relationship, or indeed difference, between the artist’s physical construction and the perceptual construction of the viewer."
Katelynn Mills reviews Nice Weather, a group show curated by David Salle, at Skarstedt Gallery, New York (Chelsea and Upper East Side locations), on view through April 16, 2016.
Mills observes: "One cannot help but feed off the vitality of the paintings in 'Nice Weather,' ... Taking it all in, I was reminded of [curator David] Salle’s review of the Museum of Modern Art’s 'The Forever Now,' published last year in ArtNews. That show, which was curated by Laura Hoptman, attempted to showcase a cross-section of what painting is today and, in so many words, Salle said, 'This is what’s working, these are the things that aren’t’t working.' 'Nice Weather' can be read as an extension of that review, saying, 'This is how it’s done.' I had the chance to ask Salle if he agrees, to which he replied 'I would. But the criterion and the mandate for a gallery show are different from that of a museum. In fact, ‘Nice Weather’ has many artists in common with Hoptman’s show.'"
Altoon Sultan blogs about the exhibition Raoul De Keyser: Drift on view at David Zwirner Gallery, New York through April 23, 2016.
Sultan notes: "For Raoul De Keyser (1930-2012), paint is a subtle medium, carrying a delicate expression, fluid and free, and at the same time concise and spare. His paintings are like brief poems, allusive, and richer than the minimal language suggests." She concludes: "Within his quiet language, De Keyser explored wide worlds."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Bill Scott whose exhibition Imagining Spring is on view at Hollis Taggart Gallery, New York through April 16, 2016.
Scott comments: "I think I paint bittersweet fictions. I don’t believe the imagery I paint exists. I am not so removed from the world that I think it is pleasant out there. I think it is close to awful. We are walking towards extinction. So, why wouldn’t I paint the Garden of Eden or something pleasurable? What am I going to gain, spiritually or emotionally, from painting something miserable? I would much rather live in a fantasy world. I want a kindness in the painting. I want there to be an emotional ease. Generally, I don’t feel that in life, so I want it to exist in the paintings."
Butler observes that in Ablow's paintings: “We see ... tables—as well as cups, pitchers, bowls and the occasional napkin or wrench—animated with the intimacy and loneliness, the attraction and repulsion, of the human beings who are absent from their world... The self-conscious solitude of Ablow’s objects is a predicament that his paintings never quite lose touch with, even as correspondences of color aspire to unite them. Indeed, solitude the defining reality of the worlds on which their dramas take place—these worlds being, without exception, tables. Whether treated as a stage for a drama of kitchenware or as subjects in their own right, the tables dictate the distortions and distances of space that define each composition."
Sheryl Oppenheim interviews painter Tess Bilhartz whose exhibition Purple Nights was recently on view at Arts + Leisure, New York.
Bilhartz remarks: Narrative is something that I’ve always been interested in. I read a lot of fiction and movies and dramas, but I never really found a way to make it a part of my work. One of the things that I really fell in love with about that project [collborative film project with Holly Veselka] was that it suddenly freed me up to bring in everything that I had ever been interested in and it throw it at one project. And I think this work [Purple Nights] really comes out of that. That collaborative project helped me to see a way forward as a painter."
Clarity Haynes reviews Carrie Moyer: Sirens which waas recently on view at DC Moore Gallery, New York.
Haynes concludes: "Despite Moyer’s many influences and art historical references, her work does not look like anyone else’s. She is creating new territory and forging her own language in paint. A kind of deep, bodily theatrics are at play in these smart, masterful paintings. It’s hard to leave the gallery—the works literally cajole the viewer to stay. Sirens gives more than it asks: it is fundamentally generous. This is a big, beautiful party to which we’re all invited."
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.