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Sharon L. Butler

SHARON BUTLER is a painter who blogs at Two Coats of Paint.

In Conversation

LOUISE FISHMAN with Sharon Butler

Sharon Butler sat down with Louise Fishman to discuss her two current exhibitions: Five Decades, a 50-year retrospective at Tilton Gallery (September 5 – October 13), and Louise Fishman, at Cheim & Read (September 13 ­– October 27).

Richard Prince and the American Girl

I spent Black Friday in the city with my nuclear family. I wanted to see the Richard Prince show at the Guggenheim, but my eight-year-old daughter Lena was not keen on the idea.

Tracking Loren MacIver

In my first college painting course, which I took several years after completing an art history degree, my teacher Arnold Trachtman said that my painting of the bathroom sink reminded him of Loren MacIver’s work.

America’s Lessness

During the 20th century, while American artists did not generally take the country’s integrity for granted, they did tap the rich vein of its mythic virtue with a tacit understanding that it was not all illusory. In the mid-'50s, Jasper Johns adopted the American flag as the subject for a series of groundbreaking painterly meditations.

The Art World on Facebook: A Primer

What’s so good about Facebook? Most art bloggers will tell you it’s a good way to connect with the people who read their blogs.

Louise Fishman

In stark counterpoint to the New Museum’s wryly titled Younger Than Jesus show featuring artists under 33 years old, Cheim & Read is exhibiting the Abstract Expressionist paintings of seventy-year-old Louise Fishman, an artist who has been dedicated exclusively to painting for over fifty years.

Jonathan Schipper: Irreversibility

What a great idea. Artist Jonathan Schipper, with vital help from engineer Karl Biewald, manages to transform a car-crash into an observable work of art by slowing it way, way down.

New Mirrors: Painting in a Transparent World

In New Mirrors: Painting in a Transparent World, a group show at Exit Art, curator Herb Tam suggests that painters, confronting a digital onslaught in which shifting identities are continually updated and instantly distributed, are compelled to deconstruct the logistics of painting in a similar fashion.

TAMARA GONZALES Untitled, An Exhibition of New Paintings

The other day, when I came out of the C-Town at Wyckoff and Dekalb, I saw a woman wearing beige leggings made of polyester lace that featured a big repeating flower pattern, and I thought of your paintings.

Abts’ Traction

Tomma Abts’ paintings seem a natural, even predictable, choice for the inaugural painting exhibition at the putatively forward-looking New Museum. Despite her use of conventional media, Abts’ Turner Prize win in 2006 has paved the way for a hipper assessment of her work than most painting generates in a climate that favors improvisational, site-specific installation projects.

LOIS DODD New Panel Paintings

Lois Dodd’s great gift as a painter is her ability to pose complex questions without seeming to try.

Tracks: Expanding Utopia

In the recent spate of articles about Bushwick’s innovative DIY arts projects and spaces, artists almost invariably cite Austin Thomas as a key early influence. Thomas opened Pocket Utopia—her groundbreaking salon, international residency program, and exhibition space in the neighborhood—in 2007, while the art market was still safely and unadventurously ensconced in the airtight studio/gallery bubble.

The Mood Back Home

Immediately confronting visitors to The Mood Back Home, a thoughtful and evocative group exhibition organized by Suzy Spence and Leslie Brack at Momenta Art, is Jessica Jackson Hutchins’s 70s-vintage spring-mounted hobby horse, whose head has been covered with crudely applied wads of clay in tumor-like growths.

Moving Beyond ObamArt

After suffering through eight years of dangerously misguided Bush administration policies, we all heaved a sigh of relief when Barack Obama was sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States.

Another World: The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

In 1931, during the early days of the Depression, before the Works Progress Administration was put in place, an outdoor art exhibition, modeled on those in Europe, was held in Washington Square to help struggling artists make a living. Not yet thinking in terms of their careers, but simply trying to pay the rent, artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Alice Neel are said to have been among the more than 200 artists who participated.

MICHELLE SEGRE Lost Songs of the Filament

A great deal of recent art found in global biennials and blue-chip galleries (think of Damien Hirst’s spots or Kehinde Wiley’s portraits) is made by teams of acolytes under an art superstar’s supervision.

Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward

In 1924, the middle of the age of the Charleston, wealthy businessman Gordon Strong asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a tourist destination for the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Maryland.

PAT STEIR The Nearly Endless Line

It’s one thing to understand the empiricist philosophers’ notion that the observed and the observer cannot really be separated, quite another to vivify it through visual art. But in The Nearly Endless Line, a new installation at Sue Scott Gallery, Pat Steir does just that, with both subtlety and force.


In the competitive maelstrom of 20th century art, philosophies became dogmas, and the dogmas outright manifestos. In the new century, many abstract painters are saying goodbye to all that didactic thinking and exuding a kind of calculated tentativeness.

Social Curiosities: An exhibition of new work by the 2008-2009 Fellows of the New York Academy of Art

Social Curiosities, work by the 2008-09 New York Academy of Art postgraduate fellowship recipients—Matthew Miller, Annie Wildey, and Phillip Thomas—gives me hope for what has become a dire situation for the art profession.

Artists Retreat

With the economy slowing down, hedge funds getting shaky, and investors seeking refuge, the art market seems certain to contract in a big way.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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