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."
Tomkins writes: "Although he hasn’t really used artist’s paints or brushes since he was in art school, what Bradford makes are abstract paintings. He starts with a stretched canvas and builds up its surface with ten or fifteen layers of paper—white paper, colored paper, newsprint, reproductions, photographs, printed texts—fixing each layer with a coat of clear shellac. Sometimes he embeds lengths of string or caulking to form linear elements in the palimpsest. When the buildup reaches a certain density, he attacks it with power sanders and other tools, exposing earlier layers, flashes of color, and unexpected juxtapositions. Not until the first sanding does he begin to see where the painting is going. He works like an archeologist, rediscovering the past."
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."
Raphael Rubinstein considers the career of painter Albert Oehlen.
Rubinstein observes: "Interestingly, Oehlen refers to his 1988-97 abstract paintings as 'post-non-objective.' The phrase is odd since you would expect an artist who had switched from figuration to abstraction to call his new work 'post-representational' or 'post-figurative' rather than 'post-non-objective,' the term 'non-objective' being a common synonym for abstraction. Oehlen’s odd terminology suggests that he wanted to escape the abstract/figurative binary, in order to make paintings in which one didn’t have to take sides, and in which content wouldn’t be equated with the presence or absence of recognizable imagery... Ultimately, the effect of the paintings, the kind of experiences they offer, is far more subtle and rewarding than such crass binaries. But perhaps it is the very crassness of this initial juxtaposition, its blatancy, that permits Oehlen to venture into such complex painting territory, to do the amazing things with color, gesture, space and light that make the poster paintings feel as visually rich as some Baroque masterpiece."
Piri Halasz reviews works by Al Loving at Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, on view through June 27, 2015.
Halasz writes that Loving's "mixed media collages are magisterially composed of almost incredibly intricate cut-out spirals, strips, diagrammatically outlined boxes, curlicues and other geometric flourishes. Everything is soldered together and elegantly colored, with multiple hues that range from the subtle to the rowdy. All these shapes and colors are further glorified by bits of glitter and overlays of shiny lacquer... the eye is challenged by how these works are mounted—or, to be more accurate, not mounted at all. They don’t have conventional matting under them, let alone glass to cover them or frames to surround them: instead they simply cling flatly, simply, innocuously to the wall."
A. Zlotowitz reviews Rosy Keyser: The Hell Bitch at Maccarone Gallery, New York, on view through June 6, 2015.
Zlotowitz writes that in her recent work, Keyser "continues the discourse of painterly reduction. While breaking away from the traditional frame, Keyser’s works allow for viewers to consider definitions of empathy, profanity and form through her patchwork assemblages, fixed to the classic signifier of the canvas stretcher... Keyser’s works here hold great reminiscence to the combines of Robert Rauschenberg with hints of Thornton Dial, and her often appropriated, mixed media techniques force each of her paintings to fill their surfaces (or at least what exists of them) with feeling and movement."
Mark Stone blogs about two painting exhibitions on view in Venice Sean Scully: Land Sea curated by Danilo Eccher at Palazzo Falier (through November 22) and Peter Doig at Palazzetto Tito.
Stone writes: "Scully’s newer works have gotten much looser, the paint handling is more offhand, drippier, the compositions have opened up and become less structured. The predominant color in these works is an ultramarine blue that occasionally gets lightened, muddied or blurred with acidy yellows or workman reds, dropping the primaries into secondaries and/or tertiaries. In these landscape-y blue works there is a broader swing from dark to light, the stripes open up while the paintings remain more monochromatic. ... Doig’s color is hearty in blocks and stretches, the figuration is respectfully abstracted following Diebenkorn’s and Hockney’s examples, and there’s a bit of Surreal spectacle and art historical play in them. This is Postmodernism done well, and when it works as it does here, it can be pleasing."
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.