MacAdam writes "For Hafif, who did graduate work in the Italian Renaissance and Far Eastern Art, that history is deeply embedded in her paintings, which reflect the affinities between Europe and the East, especially in the rich coloring and architectural allusions. Such translation extends to literary evocations as well, with images that evoke words and poetry in their rhythms and shapes, much in the way words can convey the idea of images, and the shape, as in concrete poetry."
Calandra writes: "[Rubenstein's] gestures go from fine and succinct to large and sweeping and use light pinks and cherry reds to offset grassy greens and minty blues — reminding me of the Fauves at their best and brightest. She mentioned in our conversation that The Group of Seven had an early influence on her while studying in Canada. I can see that her paintings are making friends with the late landscapes and theoretical sensibilities of Emily Carr. Carr said 'Art is art, nature is nature, you cannot improve upon it... Pictures should be inspired by nature, but made in the soul of the artist; it is the soul of the individual that counts.' Rubenstein's paintings seem to be channeled directly from her soul and she takes up every bit of space on her panels to share with us that glowing light she has within."
Mary Jones interviews painter David Rhodes on the occasion of his exhibition Between the Days at Hionas Gallery, New York, on view through June 25, 2016.
Rhodes comments: "I feel as if I follow the paintings. They’re not describing ideas that I have a priori, or illustrating something I desire to manifest through painting. I feel that they amount to a dialog, and in this they are smarter than I am. They’re not an expression of my ego: they’re interesting for me; they move me. I find the paintings of interest so I make more, and they surprise me. The relationships they establish and the resonance of the day-to-day world of abstract ideas are also very interesting. The issues come through the painting. They produce a philosophical position and so also reflect one."
Maev Kennedy previews Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss and the Cycle of Life, on view at the Munch Museum, Oslo through September 25, 2016. The show examines the relationship between two paintings - one by Johns and one by Munch. The pictures bears similar titles that include the words "Between the Clock and the Bed."
Kennedy writes that exhibition curator "[John B] Ravenal thinks both artists’ paintings are about sexuality and mortality, subjects much on the minds of both men – explicit in the Munch work, with the painting of the nude girl hanging by the bed, and the coffin-like clock measuring the remaining time, but also lurking in the shadows of the Johns."
Piri Halasz reviews Sea and Stone: The Thimble Islands - Paintings by Arthur Yanoff at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, on view through July 24, 2016.
Halasz writes that "Yanoff, who is based in the Berkshires, has over the years developed a technique that combines swathes, swabs and dabs of acrylic paint with small collage elements (usually bits of paper, but sometimes more substantial objects). This turns out to be an ideal way to suggest small islands, rocky outcroppings, bits of flotsam and jetsam and occasionally living things– all floating upon or soaring above the open water. The effect is especially persuasive when the canvas is horizontal, and one feels that one is looking down on it from an aerial view. On the other hand, a vertical may create the feeling that one is looking at a cross-section of the Sound, with the lower part of the canvas suggesting underwater phenomena."
Louisa Buck reviews a recent exhibition of works by Tomma Abts at Greengrassi, London.
Buck writes that "what appear to be straightforward relationships of form and colour are actually quite the opposite. Each work is built up from intricate overpaintings with previous traces left under the skin. The shapes emerge out of and retreat back into the picture plane with a perplexing lack of logic. Flashes of vivid colour and incongruous shadows play across their thick smothering layers; these intricate maskings, shadings and spatial games complicate the picture plane in mind-boggling ways."
Gilot recalls that "while on holiday in the Alps, she pointed out some aspect of the landscape to her father. 'I was struck by the fact that, at a certain altitude, there were a lot of dark grey trees, mostly firs, and also meadows of a lively green. And I thought those two colours together were interesting. So I asked my father, "When you look at that, as I do, do you see the same thing?"' Her father was immensely irritated by this remark. 'He said, "Oh, how ridiculous, the retina, blah blah blah, it looks the same for everybody." I said that is not exactly what I meant, but I did not know how to say it. It was not the instrument of seeing, it was the result in my psyche. The feeling! At five years old, I could not ask the follow-up question.'"
Sharon Butler reviews Howard Hodgkin: From Memory at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through June 18, 2016.
Butler writes: "[Hodgkin] is a painter I'd always wanted to love, but I had never fully understood or been moved by his chunky brushwork and vivid color. The way he slapped the paint on seemed somewhat random and the compositions formulaic... I’m more open to a casual approach now, and I find more meaning in process. I like Hodgkin’s titles, which inject a sense of narrative into his loose abstractions, as well as the intimate scale, which emphasizes the role of personal circumstance in art. And I love the way he treats his paintings, made on old wooden panels with paint splashing over the framed edges, as objects in themselves."
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.