Sponsor: Golden Artist Colors


Zurbarán’s Veil of Veronica at the MFAH

Zurbarán’s Veil of Veronica calls attention to two miracles, those of the Veronica legend and of the painter’s art of creation.

Abstraction with a Political Conscience

Gwenaël Kerlidou examines the career of Olivier Mosset. Kerlidou concudes: “The critique of the art system has often been done from a neo-conceptual standpoint, but rarely from a painting standpoint, since painting has been the standard scapegoat of the conceptual critique. In both cases, however, the objects produced can never be seen simply literally: no […]

Back When Painting Was Dead

John Yau “[takes] issue with … [the] myth that painting, after taking a hiatus in the 1970s, ‘returned’ in the 1980s. This view justifies the fact that painting was ignored or denigrated during the 1970s, as it verifies the appetites of the marketplace… In narrowing down painting, as [critics] Greenberg, Stella, and Judd did, they overlooked […]

Laura Owens and the New American Century
Painting: Martin Mugar

Martin Mugar considers recent critical attention to the work of Laura Owens whose mid-career retrospective was recently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Mugar writes: “The post-modern view implicates that we are always moving away from our origins, yet even in the continual distancing from the origins something of the […]

Painting as Total Environment

Jason Stopa writes about “Laura Owens, Keltie Ferris, Rachel Rossin, and Trudy Benson — artists who have explored multi-media paintings that rival sculpture.” “These works,” Stopa argues, “feel constructed as opposed to made, and engage with several forms of tactility, illusion, and physical depth. In a time in which younger artists continue to churn out […]

State of the Art in American Figurative Painting

Daniel Maidman observes the topic of contemporary figure painting through the work of three painters: Yedidya Hershberg, Eric Fischl, and Heather Morgan. Maidman begins: “The field [of figurative painting] is enormous and shows almost no conceptual or procedural unity. One’s only hope, in approaching the topic overall, is to build up a mosaic of specifics, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lorraine Shemesh & the Impossibility of the Romantic
Painting: Martin Mugar

Martin Mugar considers the paintings of Lorraine Shemesh. Mugar writes: “Whereas [Shemesh’s] earlier painting retained the notion of an observation of swimmers in a recognizable setting, the latest work puts the observer in with the observed. She does not rely on a romantic search for connections between herself and the environment that allows [Edwin] Dickinson […]

Hilton Als on Alice Neel
Brooklyn Rail

Hilton Als writes about painter Alice Neel. Alice Neel, Uptown, curated by Hilton Als, will be on view at David Zwirner Gallery, New York from February 23, – April 22, 2017. Als observes: “I am certain that Alice Neel, more than many an American artist, had a deep understanding of affliction. She did not use her […]

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 […]

Lester Johnson’s Painting
Painting: Martin Mugar

Martin Mugar considers the achievements of painter Lester Johnson. Mugar writes: “Lester Johnson’s work is a profound meditation on our being in the world, with all the ambiguities between self and society. A psychologist and a sociologist can use these terms to describe the structure of both but they can’t tell you how it feels […]

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, […]

Painting Pros and Cons

Laurie Fendrich and Peter Plagens discuss the pros and cons of painting in the 21st century. Plagens: "… painting has become pretty much a niche medium in the big-time contemporary art world… The argument that painting has value because of its history, in the way a lot of current painters invoke it, is merely valuing […]

Florine Stettheimer at DIA
16 Miles of String

One of a group of bloggers posting in support of the Detroit Institute of Arts collection, Andrew Russeth writes about Florine Stettheimer's Love Flight of a Pink Candy Heart (1930). Russeth comments: "the more time you spend with [Stettheimer's paintings], the stranger and more interesting they get. You notice odd messages and codes that she had […]

A Provisional (Painting) Explanation
Brian Dupont

Brian Dupont defends the current trends of provisional and casual painting. Dupont writes: “Artists today are confronting an increasingly ramshackle future where aesthetic, political, economic, and ecological promises have been revealed as failures. If they are seeing a future where issues of scarcity become more urgent, materials must be recycled or scavenged from surplus, and long-held […]