Best of Painters’ Table

Shared Experience

An essay on how perception can facilitate shared experience, the second in an occasional series featuring important but under-known writings by the painter Sargy Mann (1937- 2015).

John Elderfield on Cézanne’s Portraits
Brooklyn Rail

Phong Bui interviews John Elderfield, curator of Cézanne Portraits on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. through July 8, 2018. Elderfield comments: “Cézanne records a face without interpreting. Of course, we will find ourselves interpreting. We do so when we look at the face of someone one on the subway. But […]

Claude Monet: Strictly A Revolution In Seeing
Artlyst

Edward Lucie-Smith reviews Claude Monet & Architecture at The National Gallery, London, on view through July 29, 2018. Lucie-Smith observes: “One of the most interesting things about the show, at a time when social and political virtue-signalling have become primary subjects for art, is that, where themes of this kind are concerned, Monet is studiously […]

John Goodrich on Henri Matisse
Painters on Paintings

John Goodrich considers Henri Matisse’s Laurette in Green Robe (Black Background) in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Goodrich observes: “We … may become aware of something particularly lively about this semblance of a woman in a chair: the sense of her weight, and how her forms expand rhythmically across the chair, which […]

Laura Owens: Art in Free Fall
New York Review of Books

David Salle writes about the work of Laura Owens on the occasion of a recent mid-career retrospective of Laura Owens’ work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Salle writes: “Owens’s paintings are squarely in the middle of a postmodern aesthetic that’s been gaining momentum for the last ten or fifteen years. It […]

Cézanne Portraits: Relentless Intimacy
London Review of Books

T.J. Clark reviews Cézanne Portraits on view at the National Portrait Gallery, London (through February 11) and at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. from March 25 – July 1, 2018. Clark writes: “Certainly the idea that Cézanne’s approach to picture-making is essentially technical and ‘objective’, locked in a painter’s preserve … is useless. It offers […]

Watteau’s Eloquent Formalism
Painting Perceptions

John Goodrich visits Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection and shares his observations about Watteau’s striking formalism. Goodrich writes: “Superficially, Watteau is all fanciful froth – charming subject matter, feathery modeling, a light, darting touch. But what distinguishes Watteau are his extraordinary and comprehensive intuitions about formal rhythms — in this case, […]

Romare Bearden: Abstraction
Hamptons Art Hub

Peter Malone reviews Romare Bearden: Abstraction recently on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase. Malone writes: “Because Bearden’s career appears, even in the limited scope of this exhibition, a steady and consistent affair that holds to narrative and figurative concerns over many decades, it follows that any formal innovation he experimented with […]

‘Let it be felt that the painter was there…’

An essay on Bonnard’s drawings, the first in an occasional series featuring important but under-known writings by the painter Sargy Mann (1937- 2015).

Cézanne’s Radical Portraiture
Apollo Magazine

John Elderfield writes about Cézanne Portraits, an exhibition he curated, on view at the National Portrait Gallery, London through February 11, 2018. Elderfield writes that “the content of these paintings matters. One reason, I think, why there has never previously been a survey of Cézanne’s portraits is that his reputation, as it developed in the […]

Leland Bell on André Derain
ARTnews

Blog post re-publishing Leland Bell’s seminal 1960 artice The Case for Derain as An Immortal. Bell writes: “The wholeness of [Derain’s] art is a response to the wholeness of nature. His art does not separate life into compartments: instinct here, intellect there. He didn’t paint with half of himself… Derain senses the virtue of … […]

Bridget Riley: Our Instinct Enhanced
Christchurch Art Gallery

Richard Schiff writes on the paintings of Bridget Riley on the occasion of Bridget Riley: Cosmos on view at the Christchurch Gallery, New Zealand through November 17, 2017. Schiff observes: “Riley grants that the ‘role of art’ changes. Yet this social and historical role is merely an aspect of the art that an artist creates. […]

Against Space
Brooklyn Rail

James Hyde argues that space “isn’t a manifestation or aim of all painting, nor a timeless idea, but a historical Modernist convention.” Hyde writes: “Discussions about ‘painters’ use of space’ may serve as a way of speaking about the general ‘feel’ of a picture, its atmosphere, use of perspective or presentation of overlapping planes. These are all more […]

Giacometti, Frontality and Cubism
ARTnews

Blog post revisiting Jonathan Silver’s 1974 article Giacometti, Frontality and Cubism. Silver writes: “I believe a fresh approach to Giacometti’s figurative style will show that its apparent reductiveness—the insistence on frontality, the prevailing monochrome of the paintings and the attenuation of the sculptured figures—represents the common ground between contending aims and mutually limiting conditions in […]

Alan Gouk on Key Modernist Paintings
AbCrit

Alan Gouk presents his thoughts on great modernist paintings by Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, Gauguin, Monet, and Braque. Gouk remarks: “What painting is about is claiming the surface – making it real to you, palpable, physically present, and tangible almost. At its best it is the expression of one’s involuntary response to surface, but without resorting […]

Painting’s Place: Susan Lichtman at Steven Harvey

Susan Lichtman’s paintings engage representation and abstraction, and bring a novel female perspective to Intimist iconography.

Camille Pissarro: The Perennial Student
New York Review of Books

Julian Bell reviews two exhibitions: Camille Pissarro: Le premier des impressionnistes at the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris (through July 16) and Pissarro à Éragny: La nature retrouvée at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris (through July 9). Bell writes: “Nearly always, Pissarro composes poems about passing light that can be mapped intelligibly, letting you know just […]

Gillian Ayres @ National Museum of Wales
London Review of Books

Julian Bell reviews an exhibition of works by Gillian Ayres on view at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff through September 3, 2017. Bell writes: “The huge canvases Gillian Ayres painted during the 1980s rush at you like Atlantic breakers. Bursts of orange, viridian, scarlet, yellow and cyan tumble forward and engulf you; convulsions of oil […]

Object Permanence: William Bailey at the Century Club

Viewers are now free to roam exhibitions with both figurative and abstract associations, without ideological guilt. Bailey’s poetic equivocations invite this in peaceful contemplation.

The Vitality of the ‘Berlin Painter’
New York Review of Books

James Romm reviews The Berlin Painter and His World‌, on view at the Princeton University Art Museum through June 11, 2017. Romm writes: “The Berlin Painter began working at the end of the sixth century BC, when the red-figure technique of vase painting—in which black glaze fills the background, leaving silhouettes of unglazed red ceramic to […]