art exhibit

26 posts

Art Review: Marvelous Mud at the Denver Art Museum

Marajó is a vast island lying at the mouth of the Amazon, much of which is underwater during seasonal floods. Between 400 and 1300 AD, a culture flourished here on artificial mounds built to rise above the flood waters. The current indigenous inhabitants disclaim any connection to the earlier residents; the makers of these objects had vanished before their ancestors arrived, they say.

Art Review: John Baldessari: Pure Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

There is a big fuss about Pure Beauty, John Baldessari’s retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. And there should be. While his work has been shown here and internationally since the 1980s, this exhibition comprises the first major survey of Baldessari’s work in the United States in over twenty years. It was about time.

Art Review: Charles Deas and 1840s America at the Denver Art Museum

Viewed in context with Deas’s other works, Prairie on Fire brings together a number of themes that ran through his all-too-brief career – his talent for narrative and action, often with gothic overtones, his projection of established American myths, dreams, and nightmares onto the newly opened spaces of the American West, and an intensity and ambiguity of feeling that may hint at his own troubled inner state.

Art Review: Late Renoir at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

In the case of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, some were even put up for sale. In 1989, after Renoir’s Reclining Nude (1902) was sold by MOMA, the museum’s chief curator, Kirk Varnedoe, made a comment revealing the extent to which Renoir’s reputation had fallen. ”There are many people who would like the painting very much,” Varnedoe said of Renoir’s Reclining Nude, “but it simply didn’t belong to the story of modern art that we are telling.”

Art Review: A Visual Alphabet: Herbert Bayer’s Anthology Paintings at the Denver Art Museum

Student and then teacher at the legendary Bauhaus school, Bayer exercised his talents in fields as diverse as typography, architecture, and sculpture. He designed covers for Harper’s Bazaar, and applied his graphic talents to toothpaste and nose drops, moving easily from the cultural hothouse of Weimar Germany to the postwar corporate America of Don Draper.

Art Review: Albrecht Dürer: Virtuoso Printmaker at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The earlier prints from each series are flatter, the lines more bold and calligraphic, the details stranger. The later images show the rising influence of the renaissance: the figures bear their weight in sophisticated contrapposto stances, the realistically-rendered bodies are more beautiful. It’s illuminating to see these works grouped together, to follow their stories in and out of changing historical styles and Dürer’s own artistic and intellectual development.

The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700

Saint Serapion (1628) by Francisco de Zurbarán A new show at the National Gallery of Art is bringing long-overdue attention to seventeenth-century Spanish painting and sculpture.  Xavier Bray, who curated The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700, explains in an NGA podcast that historically, American collectors avoided these […]

Art Review: 2010, Whitney Biennial

It is undeniable that the reduction, which was largely brought on by budget constraints, has created a more sober atmosphere than the artistic smorgasbords of previous years – but maybe that’s not a bad thing. 2010 is less about the diva that is the art world and more about the art, and the people who make and inspire it. Walking through, you can concentrate on each piece without feeling overwhelmed by an overabundance of visual stimuli.

Art Review: Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art

If Salon Cubism pleased nobody in 1912, the recreation of the gallery from the Salon d’Automne in the Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris exhibition is bound to excite the highest praise. The paintings are clustered about the walls, many of them positioned well above the heads of viewers, which presents Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 from an especially striking position. Sculpture busts, including one by Amadeo Modigliani, are stationed in front of the paintings, revealing how displays of different types of art were often closely integrated during the pre-World War I era.

Portraiture Now: Communities at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

The astonishing amount of detail, the tremendous amount of work that went into crafting the tiny piece and Lorna’s serene expression and frontal pose give her the air of a modern day Madonna. Despite her imperfections, nose rings and edgy attire, Lorna becomes an icon of contemporary feminine beauty.

Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

In Roberto Cuoghi’s 2006 portrait of Davide Halevim, one of the highlights of the section entitled “Representations of Mortality,” Halevim is covered in leaves, dirt, and twigs; his face is discolored; and rigor mortis appears to have set in. But Halevim was alive (and still is) when Cuoghi made this depiction of the Milan-based collector. To create this work, part of the artist’s series of portraits of art-world figures begun in 2001, Cuoghi made a cast of Halevim’s face, buried it in his garden to let the process of decomposition run its course, and then photographed the results.

Tim Burton at MoMA

Predictably, Tim Burton is already a wildly popular show. As throngs of families, film buffs and multi-pierced hipsters make their way through the narrow hallway, you are forced along at a fairly rapid pace. In the background, a museum employee occasionally shouts that this part of the exhibit is available online to remind you that lingering is not an option.