Einspruch writes that "CIMA emphasizes [Morandi's] work from the 1930s, which is the early side of the mature paintings... By the Thirties he figured out that his strengths lie in the landscape and still life. Painting the figure, as made clear by a mushy self-portrait from 1930, inflicted agony on him. A still life from a year later shows him emptying the forms he depicts of everything but the essential minimum of modeling, and doing so with command. This turned out to be a rich enough problem to occupy him fruitfully for the next thirty-three years."
Barry Nemett reviews paintings by William Bailey at Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, on view through June 11, 2016.
Nemett writes that "[Bailey's] compositions may at first look naturalistic, but you will find little of the visceral textures seen in the still-lifes and figure-in-interiors of 18th-century French painters such as Chardin. Bailey’s paintings have more in common with the idealizations of the Early Renaissance master, Piero della Francesca. Tempered by the kind of stylizations seen in other more ancient traditions, like Egyptian art, as well as by twentieth century painters like Balthus, Bailey’s carefully considered mix of artistic influences accounts, in part, for the strangeness that informs his imagery. It is at once graceful and awkward, right and wrong. He can make a seated person or a standing cup look like gravity simultaneously is at work in their behalf and has taken the day off. This quality lies at the heart of his paintings’ mystery, magic, and personal voice."
Butler observes that in Ablow's paintings: “We see ... tables—as well as cups, pitchers, bowls and the occasional napkin or wrench—animated with the intimacy and loneliness, the attraction and repulsion, of the human beings who are absent from their world... The self-conscious solitude of Ablow’s objects is a predicament that his paintings never quite lose touch with, even as correspondences of color aspire to unite them. Indeed, solitude the defining reality of the worlds on which their dramas take place—these worlds being, without exception, tables. Whether treated as a stage for a drama of kitchenware or as subjects in their own right, the tables dictate the distortions and distances of space that define each composition."
Callander comments: "I’m not a certain-minded or directed painter but I am a confident painter. In other words, I never really know what I’m doing but am confident I’ll be able to find my way in the end. This kind of uncertainty allows for richly painted surfaces. I scrape, sand, wipe, scratch my paintings – subtracting paint happens about as often as adding paint. In moments of frustration I also spit on them, step on them or smear food into them so that they don’t shut me out. That sounds weird but there’s a strange control dynamic that painters know about and deal with in different ways. There comes a point when the painting starts talking back and telling you what it needs to be finished. That’s a dangerous time because doors start closing, avenues of discovery and spontaneity disappear. And one can just proceed on the easiest path towards completion – the one they have trod before. I detest that feeling and so fight to be open to a painting flipping to completion in an instant."
Crystal "Kitty" Shimski interviews painter Dennis Kardon, whose exhibition Reflections on the Surface is on view at Valentine Gallery, Ridgewood, Queens, through April 3, 2016.
Asked about skill in art Kardon comments: "It is a word that has become vastly misunderstood when applied to painting. The problem with the word is that it implies an action that has been repeated so often that it becomes unconsidered, and which in painting implies not being in the moment. A flaw in spontaneity; spontaneity being the wonder of painting, both in doing it and looking at it. The wonder of a moment of human consciousness frozen in time. But one's power in painting depends on building upon certain knowledges that have been accumulated through experience and from studying other paintings, in order to express nuances of feeling. Nuances of the 'flawed fucked up truth' as you put it. Just fucking up doesn't express the truth, there has to be a yearning for grace, in order to experience the ache of its absence. And this is skill of a different order."
Beavers comments: "I will make a painting from any source. I try to be very democratic about it. If it seems interesting, I’ll make it ... If I painted directly from the photograph, I would just paint photo-realistically. But, I was looking for some kind of painting language, and painting around, underneath and in reality, against these built-up forms, became a formal strategy for me. Photographing these paintings while I work on them has also become a part of my process. I really like the way the relief casts a shadow; it makes the piece look almost uncanny, like it’s animated. I experience my works a lot through photographs, even though they are meant to be viewed in person. I like that there are two ways to experience my work – one of them is online in a photograph and the other is to be in real space with it. It lives online and in person, in the same two ways as we do."
Malone writes that the show "highlights a selection of Fish’s work from the late 1960s and 1970s that demonstrates how, within the limitations she had set for herself at the time, she found a surprising range of solutions to problems arising from still life arrangements in the unforgiving light of a sunny window... She is — or certainly was between 1968 and 1978 — energetically involved in matters of pictorial structure that clearly differentiate her work from that of painters who at the time maintained a greater adherence to photography."
Amirkhani observes: "While the studio paintings lend the exhibition an important theme, it is Hackett’s dialogue with painting itself that provides the coherent pulse. Whether a studio scene or a vibrant explosion of color, the paintings in this exhibition point to the shared intensities of labor, time-based processes of making, and the artist’s intimate engagement with materials that all paintings demand."
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.