July 8, 2007 |
JOHN SINGER SARGENT was the most popular portrait painter of his day, but the tedium of the work often oppressed him. In letters to friends, he liked to mock his lucrative success in what he called "paughtraits." He found it a nuisance "to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched." When he took time off from the portraits, he would say, "No more mugs!"
November 25, 2005 |
Alson Clark could paint a eucalyptus with the best of them, but don't go calling him a California Impressionist. That's the plea couched in the artist's first full retrospective, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. California Impressionists, according to the conventions of art history written on the opposite coast, are minor leaguers. American Impressionists -- Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, et al. -- are the real thing.
May 13, 1993 |
To the casual observer of the American art scene, figurative painting might seem like something that was dusted off and propped up by New York's Eric Fischl/David Salle/Francesco Clemente contingent in the early '80s, only to topple again along with the crashing art market of the '90s.
March 15, 1992 |
Employing just the trace of condescension for which they are so famous, some Englishmen still refer to Glasgow as "The Big Smoke." (Some Glaswegians, with the forthrightness they are famous for, still refer to Englishmen as snobs.) But the English--and the rest of the world--are beating a dead horse.
May 16, 1993 |
James McNeill Whistler's legendary "Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room" (1876-77) is a strange anomaly in the body of the artist's work--indeed, perhaps in all of Western art since the Renaissance. Has anyone ever before conceived of an entire room, from floor to ceiling, walls to window shutters, as a kind of environmental picture-frame, designed to hold a single painting? Whistler did. Unsatisfied with the dining room scheme prepared by decorator Thomas Jeckyll for Frederick R.
June 9, 1998 |
Overexposed? Yes, you could say the Chicago Bulls have been a little overexposed. How about simultaneous pieces in the New Yorker (Michael Jordan says General Manager Jerry Krause thought he was "a piece of meat"), Fortune (Jordan's economic impact measured at $10 billion) and Newsweek (Ron Harper says Jordan will retire), not to mention old standbys like Jordan's 1,000th Sports Illustrated cover?
February 1, 2009 |
The history of American art has missed the mark, says curator Alexandra Munroe. It has overlooked the profound and pervasive contribution of Asian philosophy and culture to the caldron, and the exhibition she has spent five years organizing, "The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860-1989," is going to prove her point. Vast and ambitious, the just-opened exhibition at the Solomon R.
June 12, 2009 |
Ten new paintings by Monique van Genderen include some of the most ambitious works this increasingly accomplished artist has produced. For her third solo show at Happy Lion Gallery -- the last was in 2005 -- Van Genderen established a uniform format. Each work is 6 feet high and 4 feet wide, familiar dimensions for paintings that address a spectator's body as well as eye. Their carefully calibrated scale initially moves you into place, effortlessly showing you where to stand to look at them.