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Best of Painters’ Table

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 […]

Florine Stettheimer: Rococo Subversive
Art in America

Blog post featuring Linda Nochlin’s 1980 article re-published on the occasion of Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, on view at The Jewish Museum, New York, through September 24, 2017. Nochlin writes: “… one might well raise some questions about conventional notions of an art of social concern itself, especially as these have recently been articulated in […]

Making Work for LS Lowry
The Guardian

Reprinted from May 12,1960, photographer Robert Smithies recounts commissioning a painting from LS Lowry. Smithies recalls: “The steps rose from ruins of a demolished terrace. A lamp-post, bent with age, pointed from the bottom to the surmounting stock brick façade of yet another chapel – the Primitives… ‘Now I really must paint that! What do […]

Roger Bissière, The Last “Primitive”

Gwenaël Kerlidou considers the work of Roger Bissière. Kerlidou writes: “With [Bissière’s] disappearance, a whole chapter of Modernism, one that we could call the ‘Primitive Paradigm,’ came to a close. The end of the primitive model in Modern art also signaled the emergence of what would later be called the Postmodern. While, in the typical […]

Death, Destruction and Deity: Painting Guernica
The Art Newspaper

Gijs van Hensbergen considers a panoply of sources and influences on Picasso’s Guernica (1937) on the occasion of the exhibition Pity and Terror: Picasso’s Path to Guernica at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, on view through September 4, 2017. Hensbergen writes: “Picasso’s magpie instinct and voracious visual memory is legendary but there is […]

R.B. Kitaj: Renewal and Resistance

David Cohen’s 2003 interview with painter R.B.Kitaj, republished on the occasion of the exhibition R.B.Kitaj: The Exile at Home, curated by Barry Schwabsky, at Marlborough Contemporary, New York, on view through April 8, 2017. “[Kitaj] is living proof of some traits his critic enemies picked up on: a promiscuous lover of big ideas, an inveterate historical […]

Christopher Le Brun: Interview
Brooklyn Rail

Barbara Rose interviews painter Christopher Le Brun. Le Brun comments: “Painting wants to be spatial. It has a compass in it that switches to north, and the north of painting is space… But painting is also—which is not said enough, at a high level—extremely difficult. Because you’re not trying to simplify the situation, you’re trying […]

Transcending Despair: Rothko, Herrera, Martin
Tamar Zinn

Tamar Zinn finds comfort from current events in three abstract painting exhibitions: Mark Rothko: Dark Palette at Pace Gallery, New York (through January 7), Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight at the Whitney Museum (through January 9), and Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim Museum (through January 11). Zinn writes: “It is through the arts, as well […]

James Ensor @ The Royal Academy
London Review of Books

T.J. Clark writes about Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on view through January 29, 2017. Clark observes: “Perhaps it is true that an artist’s influences should not interest us much (Ensor’s wish to drop the subject has my sympathy) unless what they give rise to in the […]

Philip Pearlstein on Francis Picabia

Blog post revisiting Philip Pearlstein’s 1970 essay on Francis Picabia on the occasion of the exhibition Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction at MoMA, New York, on view from November 21, 2016 – March 19, 2017. Pearlstein writes: “The effort to try to understand the recent past was so […]

Barbara Rose on Painting After Postmodernism
The Art Newspaper

An excerpt from Barbara Rose’s catalog essay for the exhibition Painting After Postmodernism: Belgium / USA, on view through November 16 at Vanderborght and Cinéma Galeries/the Underground, Brussels. The show features works by Mil Ceulemans, Joris Ghekiere, Bernard Gilbert, Marc Maet, Werner Mannaers, Xavier Noiret-Thomé, Bart Vandevijvere, Jan Vanriet, Walter Darby Bannard, Karen Gunderson, Martin […]

Notes on Euan Uglow
Powers of Observation

Chris Bennett recalls his studies with Euan Uglow. Bennet writes: “[Uglow] was not interested in ‘painting something out of the corner of the eye’ but wanted to ‘attack’ it head on. Everything was to be looked at directly and ‘in focus’; he wasn’t interested in painting the sensation of a glance for example. He would […]

Julie Mehretu: Can Social Abstraction Succeed?
Art F City

Paddy Johnson reviews Julie Mehretu: Hoodnyx, Voodoo and Stelae at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, on view through October 29, 2016. Johnson writes: “Without the titles, there’s no way to identify the grim events that inspire [Mehretu’s] work. The paintings add little to a path of abstract artist well trodden by now. With them, the mass […]

Florine Stettheimer: Feminist Provocateur

Barbara Bloemink considers painter Florine Stettheimer’s important, but often overlooked, contributions as a feminist. Bloemink writes: “Stettheimer never painted ‘fantasies’ — her works are all based on factual, thoroughly researched details — and her style and subject matter were carefully chosen. She prophetically chose to portray unique subjects, including race, sexual orientation, gender, and religion, in […]

The Chase: Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed
London Review of Books

Inigo Thomas reconsiders J.M.W. Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway (1844). Thomas asks: “chasing after hares is as old as any ancient rite, but who or what is hunting the hare in Turner’s painting? Is it just a train, and how familiar, really, is that location? You can shut down the iconographical […]

Rhetorical Abstraction in the Age of the Incidental Viewer

Gwenaël Kerlidou reflects on the work of Frank Stella. Kerlidou writes: “Stella’s main argument boils down to this: How to make paintings that don’t lose the status of paintings by becoming objects — paintings that evacuate the subjectivity of both the painter and the viewer, and replace it with historical necessity? But, by rejecting expression, […]

Pat Passlof: Paintings from the 50s

An exhibition of early works by Pat Passlof tells the story of a talented, audacious painter coming of age during a legendary decade of New York painting.

John Walker at Alexandre Gallery

John Walker’s recent paintings, on view at Alexandre Gallery, continue to revitalize abstraction through intense, prolonged immersion in nature.

Soutine: Art More Like Life

A modest, yet riveting selection of paintings by Soutine at Paul Kasmin Gallery highlighted the artist’s feverish dedication to “sensations-in-paint.”

Abstract Critical: Round-up

A round-up of fifteen articles and features about painting from Abstract Critical.