Tom McGlynn reviews the recent exhibition Carolanna Parlato: A Delicate Balance at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York. McGlynn writes: "One can see the strong influence of contemporaries ranging from Melissa Meyer to Charles Clough to perhaps even Jonathan Lasker in Parlato’s structural approach to gestural lyricism, a type where marks can retain their separate identities in ensemble with a party of similarly free agents. While Parlato’s spatial presentation is perhaps more spiritually aligned with older precedents like Helen Frankenthaler (whom she has cited as an important influence) and Sam Francis, she actuates a decidedly post-modern, dematerialized relation of gestural form in her work."
Smith-Laing observes "Bosch’s Christ [Mocked] is both crowded and spacious. Even as they crowd in on Christ, each face is given room; and the viewer can take each one in, and has to ... the figures in Bosch’s Christ express individually and are subtly characterised. Looking at the figure in the top right, leaning in towards Christ, one sees the expression, at once interrogatory and conspiratorial, of the ‘good cop’ in the interview room: the quizzical frown of a man trying, or pretending to try, to empathise with someone entirely in his power. And the insidious threat of that power dynamic pours out through the firm hand on Christ’s shoulder: both a false reassurance and reminder of who is in charge. In the context of the Ghent Christ’s overdone Boschianism, the National Gallery and Palacio Real paintings reveal Bosch not so much as a grotesque painter, but as a master of human expression in the vein of predecessors like Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck."
Mac Adam observes "[Sillman's] working conceit for this dazzling, wide-ranging show of paintings, drawings, and videos is metabolism. By this, we take her to mean the process that breaks down received material and builds it back up into new material. The action may be internal or external—that is, Sillman might be thinking of how she assimilates her artistic tradition in order to remake it in her own image, or she may be thinking of ways to reconstitute or recycle her own ideas. Either way, this body of work is characterized by a series of appropriated, recycled shapes that Sillman redeploys."
Riley writes: "Jubilee (1955), [is] the most muscular, tactile work in the Berry Campbell show. The dominant color is the orange of an established wood fire, which spreads from edge to edge out of a funnel form at the bottom of the canvas. The orange is spread thickly over undertones from umber to green, bounded by ragged edges of black that loop and rebound, as they do in many of Park’s black and white paintings of the period. Charlotte Park's use of the matte black shows an avowed debt to Goya, and it takes nothing away from the brio of her work to note that it weighs in alongside similar implementations by Kline, de Kooning, Fritz Bultman and even her husband, James Brooks. The black here also reminded me of the way Georges Rouault bounded the deep tonal areas of his paintings in a black line that is like the leading of a stained glass window."
Martin Mugar blogs about David Row: Four Decades of Painting at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, on view through April 2, 2016.
Mugar writes: "The introduction of the curvilinear into [Row's] work appears to be lifted from the late paintings of de Kooning. To achieve an understanding of the Abstract Expressionist De Kooning, a notion of real physical gesture, which creates time and space, is crucial. Interestingly, Row reduces this to a semiotic sign. Granted they are hand painted but he domesticates the heroism of de Kooning into a sign that is often contrasted with another sign such as the stable grid pattern in 'Point of View.' However, when you realize that those swirling patterns are represented as a kind of irreducible sign of movement, like the convoluted twists and turns of Chinese dragon painting, then, Row’s life work becomes clearer and very interesting. He is really involved in the language of painting or better yet painting as language."
Carrier writes: "Diamond’s happily awesome pursuit of visual variety never slips into cliché, her show is more than the sum of its parts, which is to say your pleasure in each of these painterly pictures involves awareness that many otherwise different looking paintings are at hand. In that way, the effect is the exact opposite of looking at works in series by Frank Stella, when multiple repetitions of one basic visual conception can be deadening."
Although focusing his review on many of the younger and mid-career painters in the exhibition, including Clare Grill, Sangram Majumdar, Ellen Berkenblit, and Samantha Bittman, Yau notes that "Joan Brown and Charles Garabedian are the presiding spirits of the show Painting Forward at Thomas Erben. They could also be described as the presiding spirits of today’s art scene. By that I mean they did something more than go their own way; each developed a pictorial language that was unmistakably her or his own, and, more importantly, was simultaneously accessible and mysterious — a complete world that never gave itself entirely away."
Witkowski writes: "Mernet Larsen maintains a sense of human relationships among her depicted characters. Larsen’s constructed worlds are not measured attempts to categorize or create various types. Her character’s faces speak of individuality and are immersed in every-day activities. Their rigid, architectural shapes suggest a ‘built’ origin, not unlike built environments, but with a consciousness."
Kate Kellaway profiles painter Hilma Af Klint on the occasion of the exhibition Hilma af Klint Painting the Unseen at the Serpentine Gallery, London on view March 3 - May 15, 2016.
Kellaway writes: "Between 1906-1915, there followed 193 paintings – an astonishing outpouring – known as the Paintings for the Temple. Whatever one’s misgivings about the occult, [Af Klint] worked as if possessed – in the grip of what can only be described as inspiration. She explained that the pictures were painted 'through' her with 'force' – a divine dictation: 'I had no idea what they were supposed to depict… I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke.' It is as if Af Klint has appeared out of nowhere – inconveniently for art historians. And the question she raises will not recede: was she a quirky outsider, or was she Europe’s first abstract painter, central to the history of abstract art?"
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.