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Bradley Rubenstein

20151123152937-harran_ii The Whiteness of the Whale: Reframing Frank Stella's Long Pursuit of Painting   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Frank Stella at Whitney Museum of American Art October 30th - February 7th, 2016
Posted 11/23/15

We cannot begin any assessment of the work of Frank Stella without the obligatory quote that has followed his career for over fifty years. “What you see is what you see” was Stella’s painterly philosophy distilled down to seven words. If there is a definition of Minimalism that is more succinct, it has yet to replace Stella’s as a key to understanding a certain type of particularly American painting in mid-century art history. At the Whitney Museum we have a chance to c... [more]

20150901185618-brenda-goodman-_euff_-2015 This Is What Tomorrow Looks Like: On Painting   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/1/15

Michael Heizer once wittily described the Fall art season as the art world equivalent to duck hunting season, with collectors and viewers returning from their summer homes hungry for new art experiences. While it might seem a bit of a stretch, and maybe a little deprecating to the artist ducklings, there is some truth to that feeling of anticipation we have of wanting to see what is going on after the dog days of August. Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2008, Oil and paper on canvas, 78 3/4 x 94 1/2 in (200 x 240 cm). Private collection. Image courtesy the... [more]

20150604123556-install_1 Physical Graffiti: War and Paint Collide in Leon Golub: Riot   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Leon Golub at Hauser & Wirth 69th Street New York May 11th - June 20th
Posted 6/4/15

I think of myself as a kind of reporter; I report on the nature of certain events. I think of art as a report on civilization at a certain time. —Leon Golub Leon Golub: Riot at Hauser & Wirth, in New York, presents a long overdue opportunity to see Golub’s paintings gathered together from several different bodies of work spanning a four-decade period. Showing Napalm I (1969) and Riot V (1987), Vietnam-era paintings, and several fine examples from his late Mercenaries series, this exh... [more]

20150527155056-jacoblawrence_migrationseries_panel388 The Immigrant Song   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jacob Lawrence at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) April 3rd - September 7th
Posted 5/27/15

One of the most startling impressions that one takes away from seeing the reunited Migration Series at the Museum of Modern Art is how current the paintings still feel—in a way that Céline still does, or Christopher Isherwood, or John Steinbeck, documentors of a very specific moment of transition, faithfully recording sensitive observations. Jacob Lawrence’s cycle of 60 paintings on the subject of the Great Migration, during which 6 million African Americans ultimately left the... [more]

20150429165536-louhanviolet-lr-1 Peel Slowly and See: Bill Jensen's Ego-less Abstraction   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Bill Jensen at Cheim & Read April 9th - May 9th
Posted 4/29/15

There was a time in modern music when the role of the artist changed from being the custodian of cultural knowledge to something more of an autobiographer. We might choose that moment in the late sixties when Lou Reed abandoned the writing of pop ditties about boys and girls to focus on his own, more personal interests, like boys and girls and heroin. In other art forms this sea change was happening; in comedy, where once jokes were shared, un-authored, between performers in Vegas, the Catskill... [more]

20150407153113-el135 Clean, It Just Looks Dirty: Basquiat's Unknown Notebooks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jean-Michel Basquiat at Brooklyn Museum of Art April 3rd - August 23rd
Posted 4/6/15

“Words are all we have.” —Samuel Beckett “I cross out words so you will see them more.” —Jean-Michel Basquiat There are some painters who are born great (Picasso), some who attained greatness due to circumstances of their time (David), and some whose work grows in importance posthumously (Kahlo); Jean-Michel Basquiat is a rare case of a painter who managed to fall into all three of these categories. He was a prodigious teenager who came out of the gat... [more]

20150331124728-_peter_williams_novella_4 Kicking Against the Pricks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Peter Williams at NOVELLA March 13th - April 5th
Posted 3/31/15

“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.'” —Acts 26:14 (King James Version) "We have art in order not to die from the truth." —Nietzsche The paintings of Peter Williams have, for a long time, addressed the nature of the body, specifically addressing how one might inhabit such a fragile space in such an arb... [more]

20150216094040-in2306_03_cccr Tick, Tick, Bang: On Painting in The Forever Now   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Kerstin Brätsch, Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Oscar Murillo, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Charline von Heyl, Mary Weatherford, Michael Williams at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) December 14th, 2014 - April 5th
Posted 2/16/15

Between 1942 and 1963 Dorothy Canning Miller was the curator of the highly perceptive and ultimately influential Americans shows at the Museum of Modern Art. Beginning with Americans 1942: 18 Artists From 9 States and ending with Americans 1963, Miller presented the work of artists such as Hyman Bloom, Robert Motherwell, Jay DeFeo, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Lee Bontecou, and Frank Stella—artists who would ultimately be the defining contributors to the mid-century American art his... [more]

20141219114537-moon_2 Following Francesco Clemente's Fantastic Voyage   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Francesco Clemente at Rubin Museum of Art September 5th, 2014 - February 2nd
Posted 12/18/14

The original impulse in my life as an artist was to write and to break from writing into image... Art is the last oral tradition alive in the West. —Francesco Clemente Francesco Clemente, the nomadic Neo-Expressionist painter and sculptor, continues to pursue his travels and artistic investigations, and, fortunately for New Yorkers this season, has brought back the resulting documents in two concurrent shows: Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India, at the Rubin Museum and Two Tents at... [more]

20140702133022-land_s_end_swimming Mallrats   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Walter Robinson at LYNCH THAM May 28th, 2014 - July 13th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

With exuberance and dark wit Walter Robinson has explored America’s fascination with the seedy underbelly of urban life for more than three decades. His work has drawn from Film Noir, pop advertising, and trash literature; in the 1980s he dipped into a pool of film stills, paperback book cover art, and pinups (in that age before digital porn), in line with artists such as Robert Longo, David Salle, and Cindy Sherman. Unlike Longo and Salle, who made their images more distilled and sanitary... [more]

More Dark Than Shark: Wesley Kimler + Bradley Rubenstein  

Chicago, Jun. 2014: Wesley Kimler, the irascible painter and raconteur, spoke with me in August 2013 about doing an interview for ArtSlant magazine. What started as a short conversation turned into an extended dialogue over the next few months that covered the current state of painting, film, and theater, the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and a glimpse into Kimler's unique education as an artist. Kimler is outspoken, often attacking what he views as the neo-conceptual academy of the artworld, advocatin... [more]

20140526115905-moma_jjd708_untitled Fade Away and Radiate   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jasper Johns at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) March 15th, 2014 - September 1st, 2014
Posted 5/26/14

Keep everything on the surface, even with the knowledge that the surface fades and can’t be held together forever—take advantage before the expiration date appears in the nearing distance. Bret Easton Ellis, Imperial Bedrooms During this test you will be shown a series of inkblot images. Look at each inkblot for a moment then select the appropriate response(s). At the end of the test your responses will be analyzed and scored, and a summary of the test evaluation will be presented to... [more]

Glitter and Doom: Allison Schulnik + Bradley Rubenstein  

Los Angeles, Mar. 2014: Allison Schulnik’s second New York solo exhibition at ZieherSmith, Eager, included a startling array of painting, sculpture, drawing, and film, creating a beautiful, yet haunting world. Her work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Schulnik talks with Bradley Rubenstein about her new show, her dance background, the difference between working in New York and Los Angeles, and, of course, cats. Allison Schulnik, Blue Dancer #3... [more]

20140121072045-schnabel_big_girl The Walk Home   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Julian Schnabel at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center November 11th, 2013 - January 31st, 2014
Posted 1/21/14

“Must we learn again the simple, forthright experience of actually seeing a painting?” —William Gaddis “In the end, we cultural theorists are the coroners of history, writing our forensic reports on a marble slab table about a murder victim—painting.” —Dr. Hope Ardizzone, Cultural Theorist/Author One might arguably make the case, after viewing Julian Schnabel’s retrospective at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, that he is the heir to Barnett Newman’... [more]

Altered Images: Interview with Gina Magid  

New York, Nov. 2013: I first met Gina Magid in the summer of 1999, at which point I had not seen her work, so we exchanged studio visits. Her studio then was in a big loft building in Williamsburg, and it was filled with a lot of fabric, wood, and other materials that she was using as grounds, as well as a lot of paintings that she described as all continuously in progress—an attitude toward painting that I shared and appreciated. We talked a lot about books and music, and I was really impre... [more]

Precarious Space: Angela Dufresne + Bradley Rubenstein  

New York, Oct. 2013: Following her double gallery show at CRG and Monya Rowe Gallery last fall [see Aldrin Valdez's review], and a residency at Yaddo over the summer, Bradley Rubenstein catches up with the painter Angela Dufresne. Dufresne's work is a kaleidoscope of image references to films, literature, and art history; Rubenstein and Dufresne discuss her large-scale, theatrical images, and the sources and inspirations for them. Angela Dufresne, DJ Augustine, 2012, Oil on canvas, 84 x 132 inches; Court... [more]

Watch That Man: Interview with Larry Krone  

New York, Sep. 2013: As a performer, Larry Krone has appeared at music and art venues in New York including Joe’s Pub, PS 122, and the Whitney. Larry’s costume design and fabrication for his own performances has led to the creation of House of Larréon, his line of custom gowns and stage costumes, outfitting cabaret performers, dancers and rock singers including Bridget Everett, Neal Medlyn, Adrienne Truscott, and Kathleen Hanna. Larry is a 2013 Millay Colony fellow, a 2011 and 2... [more]

20130611064937-heagle_peacock28 Nights Without Armor   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Karen Heagle at Churner and Churner May 8th, 2013 - June 22nd, 2013
Posted 6/11/13

Heraclitus wrote, “Nothing is constant but change,” illustrating succinctly his philosophy of the nature of the universe; with her current exhibit Battle Armor, Karen Heagle illustrates this adage, with paintings that show that old motifs can have new life breathed into them. In the past, Karen Heagle has made reference to heroic figures in her paintings: the Incredible Hulk and Xena the Warrior Princess, for example; in her recent show of paintings on paper at Churner and Churner in New York, sh... [more]

Theater of Painting: Susan Bee + Bradley Rubenstein  

New York, Mar. 2013: Susan Bee is a painter, editor, and book artist who lives in New York. Bee is represented by Accola Griefen Gallery, New York, where she will have a solo show of new paintings from May 23 to June 29, 2013. Criss Cross: New Paintings will be accompanied by a catalog with an essay by art critic and poet, Raphael Rubinstein. Susan Bee, Criss Cross, 2012, 24 X 30 in., oil, enamel and sand on canvas; Courtesy of the artist. Bradley Rubenstein: Susan, I just saw this piece by R... [more]

Glamorama: Nicola Tyson + Bradley Rubenstein  

New York, Mar. 2013: Nicola Tyson's photographs document the early days of the Blitz Kids and the beginnings of the New Romantic movement—late seventies, post-Punk London. "Bowie Nights at Billy's Club" was a weekly event in a small Soho venue, the brainchild of a young Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. The event quickly became the beating heart of a brand-new scene—a refuge for disillusioned punks; suburban art school students; androgynous, subversive, creative kids; and (most importantly) Bowie fans,... [more]

20130219160919-20130203051608-matisse_25 Luxe, Calme, et Volupté   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Henri Matisse at The Metropolitan Museum of Art December 4th, 2012 - March 17th, 2013
Posted 2/19/13

The prospect of seeing forty-nine of Matisse’s finest works should be enticement enough, however, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has upped the ante by arranging this somewhat thematic exhibition in groupings, which show the painter refining his personal explorations in modernist paintings through endless, subtle variations. Although the pedagogical aspects of this might seem a little staid at first flush, upon close study one becomes entranced by the intricate, reductive logic that lay at the h... [more]

Game Theory: Michael Rees + Bradley Rubenstein  

New York, Dec. 2012: Michael Rees is a New York artist. His first New York show at 303 opened in the early 90's. Then, as now, his work displays humor with a reflective conflation of the psychosomatic, the automatic source of language and its programmatic development. He has worked widely developing animation, sculpture, installation and interactive media. As of late his interest in the object grows through collaboration, humor and language examined through a collision of medias. Upcoming projects inclu... [more]

20121206171458-bf_69861 Call Me Ishmael   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Barnaby Furnas at Marianne Boesky Gallery 24th St November 9th, 2012 - January 9th, 2013
Posted 12/8/12

Once, while Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they immediately left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18–20)   Barnaby Furnas has always had a penchant for drama in paint. Images of heavy metal bands and great veils of crashing, velvety, blood-red seas. Here Furnas has taken as his starting point Herm... [more]

20121112103511-vv 50 Shades of Gray   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Pablo Picasso at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum October 5th, 2012 - January 23rd, 2013
Posted 11/12/12

Claiming once that color weakened his work, being merely an addition to an already finished canvas, Picasso eliminated it from his palette during many phases of his well-documented career. If one wanted to make the case that the haunting blue period and the sugary rose one were the painterly equivalents of tinted photos, then there might be a case to be made for it being a lifelong practice with which Picasso demonstrated the supremacy of drawing above all else in his work. Clearly the Guggenhe... [more]

20121005084339-26597_01_preview0 Five Easy Pieces   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Tony Smith at Matthew Marks Gallery - 522 W. 22nd St. September 7th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 10/5/12

Nominally a show of sculpture, Matthew Marks is presenting something more like relics of art world myth, or a romanticized artist-buddy story (think Lust for Life or Schnabel’s Basquiat). It seems an odd pairing at first glance—Pollock, whose paintings consist of poured or dripped skeins of paint, is the archetype of Ab Ex passion, and Tony Smith, with his Buckminster Fuller-like geodesic monuments, ushered in an Age of Cool. This show presents the remains of a day, one spent at Smith’s New Jersey... [more]

Psychosexy: Interview with David Humphrey  

New York, Sep. 2012: David Humphrey is a New York artist, born in 1955, who has been showing his paintings and sculpture internationally since the 1980s. Occasionally called a Pop Surrealist, his work hybridizes a variety of depiction schemes and idioms to make works charged with psycho-social content and narrative potential. He is represented by the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, NY, and is a senior critic at the Yale School of Art. An anthology of his art writing, Blind Handshake, was published by... [more]

20120830145025-vuillard_david_david_weill L'Age d'Or   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Edouard Vuillard at The Jewish Museum May 4th, 2012 - September 23rd, 2012
Posted 8/27/12

As a young painter in the 1890s, Vuillard became a member of the Parisian group of avant-garde artists known as the Nabis (“prophets” in Hebrew and Arabic). Taking their inspiration from the Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin (who was twenty years Vuillard's senior) as well as Toulouse-Lautrec (who was just four years older), the Nabis used simplified form and planes of pure color to create decorative, subtly emotive pictures, with a somewhat spiritual bent. During his Nabi period, which lasted through... [more]

The Order of Things: Interview with Pedro Barbeito  

New York, Aug. 2012: Pedro Barbeito’s exhibition at The Aldrich, Pop Violence, presents a series of work ranging from 2005 to the present that are based on images of war taken primarily from the world news media. For Barbeito, these works address the formative role of violence in contemporary life, from a political ethos driven by “terror” and deception, to the aesthetics of visual assault prevailing in popular culture. They draw upon the anxieties of an age when we are afforded, primarily throu... [more]

20120613081647-rd72012 Slow Burn   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Rodney Dickson at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Gallery June 5th, 2012 - July 13th, 2012
Posted 6/24/12

To call Rodney Dickson a painter’s painter does him something of a disservice, implying that his work speaks only to the few and initiated. In fact, both Dickson and his paintings strive for a more communal, universal language—one that collectively might understand the search that he undertakes with each painting. In an age that has seen the deconstruction, reconstruction, and post-reconstruction of painting, Dickson reaches back to an era that saw the act of painterly engagement as, first and fore... [more]

20120505173845-khd-955_428h Don't Miss the Van Gogh Boat   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Keith Haring at Brooklyn Museum of Art March 16th, 2012 - July 8th, 2012
Posted 5/5/12

Not since Andy Warhol has an artist been as driven to achieve both popular and critical success simultaneously as Keith Haring. Although his trademark images of radiant babies, anthropomorphized televisions, barking dogs, and UFOs caught the attention of the NYC subway-riding masses, and his Pop Shop products rivaled Warhol’s Factory output, Haring received little museum attention during his lifetime. René Ricard, in 1981, wrote about Haring with great prescience: Everyone wants to get on the Van Gogh Boat. There is... [more]

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