Miller writes: "Marguerite Hohenberg (1883-1972) and Medard Klein (1905-2002) were two Chicago abstract artists who enjoyed national recognition in their heydays but vanished from view soon thereafter. In this show of works on paper, it’s Hohenberg’s transcendent colorism that captures the attention... She left Austria at age six, but recreated the elegant, sensual, dynamic world of the Viennese Secession fifty years later in Chicago...The work of Medard Klein, who once exhibited at Hohenberg’s gallery, is more theatrical. Formal elements are popping, splashing, and spinning about on the graphic stage. They feel like animated cartoons with figures like anthropomorphic maps of complex mathematical equations."
Micchelli writes: "One of the many striking works in the exhibition ... is a large abstraction from 1977 called “Knight Series #8 (Q3-77 #2).” Resembling a Synthetic Cubist floor plan, it is in fact an experiment in gaming that looks back to the anti-art of Marcel Duchamp and forward to the rules-based systems of 21st-century conceptual painting. That’s the essence of the puzzle that is Jack Tworkov, a painter’s painter who never seemed quite in step with his time, skipping past prevailing styles while remaining devoted to the bedrock values of stroke, line, shape and color.."
Altoon Sultan blogs about the paintings of Hilma Af Klint.
Sultan writes: "The seeds of this work was in a spiritualist group that she and four women friends formed in the 1890s, called The Five, where they would practice automatic drawing. A spiritualist medium was one profession in which women excelled and were respected. And lest you scoff, dear readers, during that time it was a widespread practice; even such a pragmatic thinker as William James engaged in seances. There was a desire to reach the world beyond our merely physical one... ....the form, the color, the intricate drawing were passed to her from one of her spirit guides. She was a pure medium, changing nothing, working directly, through the years 1906-1908; from 1912-15 she had some discretion in her painting. Would she have ever made these marvelous paintings, so full of light and color, with such inventive form, if she hadn't felt she'd been guided?"
Nicholas Spice reviews a retrospective exhibition of works by painter Agnes Martin, on view at Tate Modern through October 11, 2015.
Spice writes: "It is often remarked about our engagement with Martin’s paintings that we are uncertain, when standing in front of them, where they reside. There are said to be three basic viewing positions: up close, from a distance and halfway between. At a distance – so this account goes – the paintings hide from us, close like flowers at the end of the day, retreat into impassivity, their details no longer to be seen. Up close, the materiality of paint, graphite and canvas asserts itself: lines that looked straight turn out to be subtly irregular, the spacings of an intricate grid are discovered to be subject to slight deviations, uniform colour fields to reveal delicate fluctuations in density – thinning here, pooling there. In the intermediate position, meanwhile, everything starts to swim, shimmer and pulse. In fact, things are a little less neat than this. Some of the paintings actually become more emphatic and distinct as one moves away from them; others so dazzle at close range that focusing on the detail tires the eyes; a few remain visually stable wherever one happens to be standing. But generally, in their shifting, mercurial nature, their having no steady state, the paintings can seem to elude us. What they exactly are, we cannot grasp. A consequence of their indeterminacy is that the paintings ask that we look, look and keep looking. They beckon us into an attitude of attention, a willingness to take time."
Nadja Sayej profiles painter Frank Stella. A retrospective of Stella's work will be on view at the Whitney Museum, New York, from October 30, 2015 - February 7, 2016.
Sayej writes: "Even though his work has evolved drastically – from monochromatic to colorful, sculpted to fabricated – Stella cringes at the word 'reinvented'. 'I don’t like the word reinvent, you’re lucky enough to invent,' he said. 'It’s about what you make, what you learn from it and what it suggests. And move on.'"
Knight writes that the "exhibition centers on Moholy-Nagy's paintings, a medium he set aside as old-fashioned for a few years but picked up again in the early 1930s. He experimented with materials and techniques: incising into plastic, trying out metal and Formica as a support, varying paint textures as a means for altering the play of light across a flat surface. The physical architecture of a painting entered into dialogue with its optical effects. Often he worked on paper (six examples are here). Perhaps the most compelling is a watercolor with collage on the gritty sandpaper used on a metal shop's grinding tools. With intersections of geometric shapes and color-shifts, he transforms the brute physical material into an elegant perceptual tool."
David Ebony interviews Michelle White and Bradford A. Epley, co-curators of the recent exhibition Barnett Newman: The Late Work at The Menil Collection, Houston.
White comments: "In the late works, compared with the better known earlier paintings—of the 1940s and ‘50s—changes in the way he treated the painted surface are readily apparent. A lot of earlier works are more painterly. He applied many layers, and established a sense of atmosphere. There’s a rich complexity in the layering you can see in paintings like Ulysses (1952), with its layers of blue pigments. A big part of what happened from 1965 on is that he began to use acrylics instead of oil paint. The color in the late paintings is flatter, more solid and saturated. And the overall design is more boldy graphic."
Götz comments: "The works are all about tension or discrepancy between the reality of the space and an abstract idea. I see the space, and I design this abstract painting in my studio, which then changes again completely because of the reality of the space. The moment it’s painted onto a wall, it becomes part of the space - part of reality, never completely abstract. There is a transition between abstraction and the real space; it’s this play that interests me."
Barosh observes: "In Soul Bolt, Reeves’s immaterial figures present different degrees of psychological anguish and absurdity. The diminutive beings, cobbled together accumulations of painted debris, play out silent scenes of operatic grandeur or teeter on the edge, in parody of the Sublime. A new level of mystery is introduced when Reeves begins to pair the figures with photographed landscapes, placing the iconography of the dream world onto a representation of the real, replicating the inside-out feeling of terminal illness... Jennifer Wynne Reeves lived every moment of her life for art, sustained to the very end by creativity in its purest form, emotional honesty, and a striving for spiritual transcendence. Her work lives on reflecting her graceful humility and passionate spirit..."
Mendelsohn writes that Remington's paintings are works in which "purely visual elements feel both tangible and psychologically compelling. She paints hieratic forms that suggest machined devices, architectural diagrams, interiors of the body, shields, and emblems. In their ambiguity, the possibilities inherent in the imagery keep opening up multiple readings of exposed cross-sections, places of refuge, routes of escape, and at times, majestic flowerings... In all of Remington’s work we are confronted by the mystery of a psychic urgency charged with myriad impulses: the mechanistic, the sexual, the claustrophobic, along with the display of beauty and power."
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.