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ALEX KATZ Small Paintings 1987–2013

Alex Katz makes highly refined graphite drawings as part of his preparation for the bravura, often enormous pictures for which he is known. These paintings are not, in the usual sense of the word, spontaneous; his esthetic sensibility is cool, refusing sentiment in favor of “high style” (his term) and impeccable finish, for which prior drawing is necessary.

Painting at 56 Bogart

Clive Bell said the job of an art critic was to be a signpost pointing toward what was worth looking at. That’s always stuck with me for its succinctness. There’s been a whole lot of talk in recent years about the role of art critics, the importance of art criticism and so on, mostly among art critics.

ANNE TRUITT Threshold: Works from the 1970s

Anne Truitt’s career looks larger and larger as time goes on. Born in Baltimore, educated at Bryn Mawr in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and working most of her life in Washington, D.C., Truitt developed a radically spare aesthetic, which slightly prefigured the sleek, industrial forms of 1960s Minimalism.

JOHN O’CONNOR The Machine and the Ghost

In his unfinished memoir Benoît Mandelbrot, the father of chaos theory, told the story of when, during the early 1960s, he walked past a classroom at Harvard University and noticed a fellow professor drawing a near-identical diagram to the one he’d recently landed upon in the course of his groundbreaking research.

TONY COX Shapes of Shade

In Shapes of Shade, Tony Cox’s debut solo exhibition with Marlborough Gallery, the New York artist has both expanded upon and refined an aesthetic he’s been nurturing for years: the embroidered canvas.

WILLIAM ANASTASI Sound Works, 1963–2013

William Anastasi is “piping to the spirit ditties of no-tone.” In his retrospective at the Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College, curated by Maxim Weintraub, Anastasi’s ready-made “The World’s Greatest Music,” (1977) hits all the notes.

CHRIS BURDEN Extreme Measures

One late evening in October 1972, the artist Chris Burden mounted two large X’s on a road in Southern California, lit them on fire, and left the area. One can only imagine the visceral, hyper-real experience of encountering such a spectacle on an empty road in the middle of the night.

DOROTHEA ROCKBURNE Drawing Which Makes Itself

Stirring in the currents of the Process Art movement and coming ashore with the tide of Post-Minimalism, Dorothea Rockburne’s austere work from the 1970s possesses enduring value.

NALINI MALANI In Search of Vanished Blood

Nalini Malani’s In Search of Vanished Blood on view at Galerie Lelong through October 26, is a sprawling, multi-media experience blending imagery from multiple cultures with text, sound, and light, to explain what feels like the familiar, time-worn struggle of the woman as displaced other in search of the basic comforts of home, security, and even identity.

Sculpture after Artschwager

Artist and writer Ian Wallace recently remarked that we “hear a lot about ‘Artschwagerian wit,’ but there’s never been much of an attempt to define it.” We could approach Sculpture after Artschwager, a modest selection of post-war objects at David Nolan Gallery, as an attempt at such a definition.

The Dinwoodies, 2005-08: graphite drawings on mylar

Writing in the late 20th century, postmodern philosopher Vilém Flusser theorized that we had entered a transitional period between historical and post-historical thinking.

MAGRITTE The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926–1938

The familiarity of Pop-Surrealism and the instant recognition of Rene Magritte’s paintings is a double-edged sword. On one side it makes the images in his work as easily dismissible as déjà vu, and on the other side it encourages a fresh perspective on an artist who gave ordinary life a hallucinatory lift.

New Jersey as Non-Site

The island of Atlantis, domesticated by sober laws of longitude and latitude, has seemingly shaken off the musk of legend. It lies off the coast of Africa, cradling the continent’s curve from Morocco to Senegal.

Street Art Brazil

True to the spirit and intentions of street art, this vast and indeed wild exhibition organized by the city administration of Frankfurt took place everywhere but within the clean confines of the museum itself. The city of Frankfurt became the canvas upon which works were executed by about a dozen Brazilian taggers, writers, and graffiti artists who represented a plethora of genres.


A review of Matthew Craven’s recent show at DCKT Contemporary.


Rupert Goldsworthy reviews the Tony Feher retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2013

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