Altoon Sultan blogs about Cecily Brown: The English Garden at Maccarone, New York, on view through June 20, 2015.
Sultan writes that Brown's show "was a lesson to me in slowing down, looking carefully, and being open to new work... As I looked, I became entranced by the welter of brushstrokes; their layering is full of life and delicate energy. Each painting contains a particular quality of light and air, and most refer to a landscape space, one that asks us to make our way through dense paint to the spaces behind."
Larry Groff interviews painter Celia Reisman. An exhibition of Reisman's recent paintings was recently on view Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco.
Commenting on the effect of moving to California from Philadelphia, Reisman notes: "I’ve always been attracted to color in the landscape looking for some distinguishing color, like a red bush or a yellow umbrella. Out here it’s been easier to find those experiences with pink houses, purple trees, bougainvillea, a constant array of color that seems to change every few weeks. So in addition to the Dr. Seuss like plants out here, the surrounding color also creates a somewhat surreal and visually exotic experience. It’s a constant bombardment of visual inspiration which I try to capture. San Diego has influenced me to push my palette to brighter greens, reds, oranges etc., colors that are not so abundant back east, finding an excuse to use them. I’ve tried to run with it, exaggerate and use a stronger palette. I’ve also tried to create a color world for each painting so it gives off a sensation or glow of a certain temperature or feeling."
Alex Bacon interviews Mary Corse whose paintings are on view at Lehmann Maupin, New York, through June 13, 2015.
Corse comments: "What interests me now a lot too, especially with the black and white paintings, is when I put the black and the white together: that edge. It’s so optical. It starts flashing. We’ve never seen energy. And you actually start to see energy. And in the thin ones, if I make the line thin enough, I can actually see an energy field. So, on the side, I think I’m interested in seeing energy. That’s a new concern."
Yau begins: "Robert Motherwell didn’t believe that Pablo Picasso or Henri Matisse were figures to be overthrown. Instead of trying to triumph over them, he was convinced that he could expand upon their innovations. Moreover, he felt that if he tackled the same issues that they wrestled with, he could achieve something that was all his own. This was his big gamble, but, to my mind, it paid off. Instead of reacting against these European masters, a rebellion that surely propelled a number of postwar American artists to jettison the paintbrush along with drawing, spatiality, and composition, Motherwell regarded Picasso and Matisse as cornerstones to build upon."
Sharon Butler blogs about Jacqueline Humphries at Greene Naftali, New York, on view through June 20, 2015.
Butler notes that "Digital screens, halftone dot patterns, emoticons, and other typographic symbols comprise the imagery in Jacqueline Humphries's new series of large-scale paintings... Once considered a Provisional painter, Humphries's new work is anything but contingent. Slick and resolved, the enormous canvases are layered with stencils and screen prints so as to create the densely comprehensive patterns that we have come to associate with digitized information."
Paul Corio reviews paintings by Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, on view through June 14, 2015.
Corio writes that a "new device in these pictures is a particular grey which is not mixed but would appear to be produced by applying black paint over a white ground then scraping or sanding back to partially reveal the underlying color. The resulting atmosphere moves these paintings further away from formal readings, and far more into the realm of the poetic, possibly even romantic (although I shouldn’t get too carried away). In 'Landscape Into Art,' the venerable Kenneth Clark suggests that the most difficult thing to accomplish in landscape painting is a convincing evocation of night. In 'Narrows,' the largest picture in the show, two gloss-black spectral rectangles, like giant robotic eyes, emerge from the grey described above, each bordered by a pair of attenuated matte black triangles. The latter shapes act as a bridging color, completing the illusion that the dominant shapes are rising from a spooky, nighttime mist."
Evan Smith reviews The Guston Effect at Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, on view through August 15, 2015.
Smith writes that the show "makes a broad, convincingly argued statement about the lingering spectre of Guston in the work of dozens of painters... The response of many artists in the show is to produce a kind of self-conscious, self-imposed marginality. A lot of the work on view is simply painted in a Guston palette, or with Guston shapes, or are literally tribute paintings, but artists like Katherine Bradford, Amy Sillman, and Jackie Gendel are fully committing themselves to teasing out the possibilities of personal narrative and self-exploration lingering in figurative painting, while maintaining a love for the materiality of paint. In this they have developed an authentic and complex connection to Guston and are continuing his legacy. Purity is nice for those with the privilege of emptiness, but painting will always have a place of refuge for those with the need to tell their stories."
Feinsteing writes: "Like the Italian masters who depicted scenes from the Bible, Lawrence created extended narrative cycles. He chose to chronicle the stories of normal citizens like himself—largely invisible in the art of the time—and situate them in the history of America. Daily lives, street scenes, and people at play, at worship, and at work feature prominently. So do historical narratives of slaves ... and the mass migration of black people from Southern farms to factories in the North and Midwest. Lawrence created a vernacular visual history, much of which is still missing from history textbooks today."
Malone writes: "Though Flack has become an artist with an impressive career as a representational painter, and later a sculptor of public monuments, her early experiments in abstract painting — like those of Pat Passlof, shown at Elizabeth Harris last year — mirror and impersonate the classic AbEx look. The surprise of the Flack exhibition, however, is in how far and in how many ways she was able to transcend the many signature traits of the group. For such a young artist, Flack had the uncanny ability to surmount influence in a multiplicity of styles, even anticipating in some measure de Kooning’s 1970s East Hampton period with her 'Figures and Trees for Bill' (1949–50), while a short time later reaching back to Cezanne with 'Grapefruits I' (1954) and along the way finding paths into abstract painting that are surprisingly reminiscent of more recent solutions."
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.