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Modernism

Maison de Masson
The New Criterion

David Platzer reviews the exhibition André Masson: There is No Finished World at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, France. Platzer’s review walks the reader through the phases of Masson’s career – cubism, surrealism, the influence of eroticism (via de Sade), and mythology – presented in this retrospective.

Chaïm Soutine at K20
Spike Art Magazine

Hans-Jürgen Hafner reviews Chaïm Soutine, Against the Current at K20, Düsseldorf. Hafner’s review highlights the uniquely visual nature of experiencing a Soutine painting. “Encountering a work by Soutine,” Hafner writes, “you ‘see’ what you ‘get’ exactly by looking at it … a meager, lifeless chicken, hanging slightly aslant against some dark background, an uncanny hole […]

Picasso’s Transformations
New York Review of Books

With numerous exhibitions and publications marking the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death in 1973, 2023 has been a year to reconsider the most famous artist of the 20th century. Reviewing a number of these shows and books about the artist, Jed Perl laments that for all this attention and celebration, “Picasso, a titan among […]

On Raoul Dufy

In thinking about the work of his favourite painters Sargy Mann realised that Raoul Dufy was the most extreme example of the separation of line and colour.

Marc Chagall & the People’s Art School
Hyperallergic

Wilson Tarbox reviews Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-garde in Vitebsk, 1918–1922, on view at the Centre Pompidou, Paris through July 16, 2018. The exhibition highlights the short lived People’s Art School, started in 1918 by Marc Chagall, and its demise that coincided with the “tension … between Chagall and his particular notion of revolutionary art — […]

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 […]

Matisse-Bonnard @ the Staedal Museum
AbCrit

Richard Ward reviews Matisse-Bonnard: Long Live Painting at the Staedal Museum Frankfurt, on view through January 14, 2018. Ward notes that the “difference of approach [of the two artists] is visible throughout the exhibition and manifests itself in various ways: Matisse’s primary creation is pictorial space. Even a simple, almost sketch-like painting, such as the amazing ‘Open […]

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 … […]

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 […]

Fernand Léger @ Centre Pompidou-Metz
Hyperallergic

Joseph Nechvatal reviews Fernand Léger: Beauty Is Everywhere at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France, on view through October 30, 2017. Nechvatal notes that he “[prefers] Léger’s work when it points at neurocomputing wetware, biorobotics, and AI-charged automation; when it hums away in the space between the mechanic and the organic. This is when Léger functions as a […]

Matisse: The Joy of Things
New York Review of Books

Claire Messud reviews Matisse in the Studio at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on view through July 9, 2017. Messud writes: “this glorious exhibition impresses the viewer also with simpler, more atavistic and abiding truths: Matisse’s passion for color, for light, for pattern, for flowers and the female figure; and his conviction—borne out in […]

Helene Schjerfbeck & Her Contemporaries
Too Much Art

Mario Naves reviews Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries at Scandinavia House, New York, on view through October 3, 2017. Naves writes: “… an uncompromising, if at times highly affected, talent. At her best, Schjerfbeck holds vulnerability and measure in wiry equilibrium… The innovations of early Modernism liberated these painters [Schjerfbeck, Sigrid Schauman, Ellen […]

John Graham: Maverick Modernist
Hamptons Art Hub

James Croak reviews John Graham: Maverick Modernist at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, on view through July 30, 2017. Croak writes: “Early Modernism in painting, loosely defined as artwork seeking an essentialism constructed between the late 19th century up until WWII, was an intellectual adventure of the first order, having its manifestation in […]

Alexei Jawlensky @ Neue Galerie
Too Much Art

Mario Naves reviews Alexei Jawlensky at the Neue Galerie, New York, on view through May 29, 2017. Naves notes: “Though Jawlensky tilted towards abstraction, he never completely abandoned representation. The splotchy landscapes displayed at the center of the exhibition test the limits of recognizability even as Jawlensky continues to hold onto things—hillocks and trees, clouds […]

Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms
Studio International

Natasha Kurchanova reviews Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 21 March – 23 July 2017.  Kurchanova writes: “The exhibition gives an insight into the development of modernism in Brazil, a country to which it was an extraneous mode of aesthetic language, developed under the influence of a […]

Looking at Late de Chirico
Brooklyn Rail

Matvey Levenstein, Stephen Ellis, and Lisa Yuskavage discuss de Chirico’s oft maligned late work. Their comments were submitted as part of a panel (moderated by Giovanni Casini) associated with the exhibition Giorgio de Chirico – Giulio Paolini / Giulio Paolini – Giorgio de Chirico at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), New York, on […]

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 […]

Marsden Hartley’s Maine
Studio International

Jill Spalding reviews Marsden Hartley’s Maine at The Met Breuer, New York, on view through June 18, 2017. Spalding writes: “A curatorial triumph for how convincingly Hartley’s meditations on Maine present as defining his modernist vision, the show serves as successfully to broaden our understanding of modernism. These burning canvases are not a style, they […]

Alexei Jawlensky @ Neue Galerie
Studio International

Natasha Kurchanova reviews Alexei Jawlensky at the Neue Galerie, New York, on view through May 29, 2017. Kurchanova writes: “Jawlensky was close to many of his well-known compatriots and colleagues who either migrated to Germany or resided there, including Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Paul Klee and Ferdinand Hodler. The influence of these artists becomes manifest […]

Alexei Jawlensky & Vija Celmins
The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl reviews Alexei Jawlensky at the Neue Galerie, New York (through May 29) and Vija Celmins at Matthew Marks, New York (through April 15). Schjeldahl writes: “… The [Jawlensky] show ends with the kicker of a room of small, even tiny, paintings, unfamiliar to me, of an abstracted face. A black stripe serves for […]