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Norman L Kleeblatt

Norman Kleeblatt is a curator, art historian, and critic. Formerly chief curator at The Jewish Museum, New York, his exhibitions included Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976 (2008) and From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945–1952 (2014). He has contributed to ARTnewsArtforumArt Journal, and Art in America, among other publications.

Getting to res.o.nant

Many of Mischa Kuball’s public art projects and institutionally based works deploy light. For much of his career the artist has used this ephemeral medium as both an intellectual and emotive resource.

Joan Snyder: To Become a Painting

Regulars of New York City’s contemporary art scene have recently been treated to two doses of Joan Snyder’s paintings. Joan Snyder: To Become a Painting, currently on view at the Franklin Parrasch Gallery on the Upper East Side, includes seven recent works whose combined energy and elegant, clear installation in the gallery’s domestic-scale spaces contribute to the rewards of such a modest presentation.

Controlled Burnings: Hiller, Latham, Schneemann

With the exception of carved sculpture, the making of art has historically been an additive, creative process in which materials are turned into ingenious works. It is both the physical hand and innovative talent of the artist that transform materials into objects that have meaning beyond their simple constitutive elements. Bringing together works by Susan Hiller, John Latham, and Carolee Schneemann from the period when all three were based in London and in dialogue with one another, Controlled Burnings centers on these artists’ challenges to standard additive modes.

Norman Lewis: Give Me Wings to Fly

As with many artists, the delicacy and subtlety of Lewis’s drawings are often overshadowed by the greater density, larger scale, and inevitably more potent tactility of his paintings. However, this show’s exclusive examination of the artist’s drawings (and paintings on paper) permits viewers to focus on the smaller field as well as on Lewis’s technical experimentation and virtuoso draftspersonship.

Alan Sonfist: American Earth Landscape

When you google “land art” one of the top options features two photographic examples: Robert Smithson’s monumental Spiral Jetty (1970), perhaps the paradigm for the genre, and Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape (1978). Smithson’s earthwork is a massive and muscular transformation of terrain set in the vast open area of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Its image is quickly identifiable, iconic. Time Landscape is modest, non-iconic, and set in the heart of an urban metropolis.

Exposé·es

While recently in Paris, I saw a curious, complex, and riveting exhibition titled Exposé·es at the Palais de Tokyo. It was inspired by and named after art historian, critic, and activist Elisabeth Lebovici’s highly personal book What AIDS Did to Me (Exposées: D’apres “Ce que le sida m’a fait” d’Elisabeth Lebovici).

Le Modèle noir de Géricault à Matisse

In 1992 art historian and writer Eunice Lipton published Alias Olympia: A Woman’s Search for Manet’s Notorious Model. The book focuses on Lipton’s obsessive art historical pursuit to identify and better understand the life of Edouard Manet’s celebrated but little-known model, Victorine Meurent. It was Meurent who sat for—some might say collaborated on—his provocative masterpiece, Olympia (1863).

Elaine Reichek: Material Girl

Elaine Reichek scavenges among sources from literature, history, mythology, and art, fabricating images and texts she transforms into textiles. Trained as a painter by avant-garde, intellectually rigorous icons, notably Ad Reinhardt, her career has been defined by her strategic use of the textile medium—a feminist, postmodern strategy.

The Water Lilies: American Abstract Painting and the Last* Monet

At different points in history, contemporary artists have led revived appreciations for earlier painters or styles. Plentiful examples include the rediscovery of El Greco through the eyes of the German Expressionists, new excitement for the work of Frans Hals by a number of Impressionist painters, and the rekindling of attention to the later periods of Francis Picabia during the heyday of Neo-Expressionism.

Helène Aylon & Colette Lumiere

I saw Helène Aylon’s (1931–2020) current exhibition, Reflections, at Kerry Schuss Gallery in Tribeca immediately before heading to the opening of Colette Lumiere’s show at Company Gallery’s new Elizabeth Street location. The latter, curated by Kenta Murakami, is vividly titled Notes on Baroque Living: Colette and Her Living Environment, 1972–1983. I have known both artists for decades. Their works and installations, their methods and practices couldn’t be more different.

Alan Solomon

As a curator who has worked at The Jewish Museum in New York for decades, the specter of Alan Solomon looms large. Solomon served as its director from July 1962 to July 1964, a mere two years.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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