Barry Schwabsky looks at three New York shows through the lens of the myth of Icarus: Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at MoMA (through Feb 8), Gabriel Orozco at Marian Goodman Gallery (closed), Isabel Nolan: An answer about the sky at Sean Kelly (closed).
Schwabsky writes that after seeing the show of Matisse cut-outs in London, that he "couldn’t help but feel that Matisse’s extraordinary late-life reinvention had come at a high cost: it had opened up a new imaginative world to him, but only through the loss of what, to the very end of his life, he believed was the source of his art—its relation to experienced reality… What made me suspicious of the cutouts in London is precisely what seemed so inspiring about them in New York: the sense that Matisse had tried to free himself from gravity. I could see more clearly that, miraculously, he’d succeeded. 'You have no idea how, during the cutout paper period, the sensation of flight which emanated from me helped me better to adjust my hand when it used the scissors,' he once said. 'It’s rather difficult to explain. It’s a kind of linear and graphic equivalence to the sensation of flight.'"