Bigindicator

Bradley Rubenstein

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Although this exhibition of Philip Guston’s archly satirical drawings of Richard Nixon was conceived long before last week’s election, it could not have opened at a more opportune moment to illustrate Karl Marx’s adage that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.” Hauser & Wirth has assembled selections of Guston’s Nixon drawings, a series that the artist worked on over a period of several years when faced with a tumultuous personal and artis... [more]
Although this exhibition of Philip Guston’s archly satirical drawings of Richard Nixon was conceived long before last week’s election, it could not have opened at a more opportune moment to illustrate Karl Marx’s adage that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.” Hauser & Wirth has assembled selections of Guston’s Nixon drawings, a series that the artist worked on over a period of several years when faced with a tumultuous personal and artis... [more]
I first met Magalie Guérin in the early 2000s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn—long before Greenpoint was made famous by the TV show Girls. She ran a small gallery called GV/AS, and curated shows that fused serious painting with something personal and quirky (Rodney Dickson's exhibition of paintings of Tanya Roberts still stands out as one of his most interesting exhibitions). One could always find Magalie sitting the gallery and working on drawings—in retrospect, combining elements of art m... [more]
Brenda Goodman’s work has seen a resurgence in the past two years, with shows at Brooklyn’s Life on Mars Gallery and a retrospective at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies, her alma mater. Goodman was part of Detroit’s Cass Corridor movement in the 70s and I first encountered her work and influence while living in Detroit in the 80s. I have followed the morphing styles of her paintings ever since. Continuing an ongoing conversation, held over multiple lunches, I recently sat do... [more]
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Where Darkness Doubles Light Pours In: Mira Schor at Lyles & King   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Mira Schor at Lyles & King March 18th - April 24th
Posted 3/23/16
Paul of Tarsus wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know...” This passage from Corinthians comes to mind when looking at the recent work of Mira Schor, now at Lyles & King. Schor’s paintings, dark, compactly strong meditations on mortality, power, and language, show an artist wr... [more]
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The Whiteness of the Whale: Reframing Frank Stella's Long Pursuit of Painting   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Frank Stella at Whitney Museum of American Art October 30th, 2015 - February 7th
Posted 11/24/15
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]
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]
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Physical Graffiti: War and Paint Collide in Leon Golub: Riot   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Leon Golub at Hauser & Wirth 69th Street New York May 11th, 2015 - June 20th, 2015
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]
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The Immigrant Song   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Jacob Lawrence at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) April 3rd, 2015 - September 7th, 2015
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]
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Peel Slowly and See: Bill Jensen's Ego-less Abstraction   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Bill Jensen at Cheim & Read April 9th, 2015 - May 9th, 2015
Posted 4/30/15
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]
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Clean, It Just Looks Dirty: Basquiat's Unknown Notebooks   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Jean-Michel Basquiat at Brooklyn Museum of Art April 3rd, 2015 - August 23rd, 2015
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]
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Kicking Against the Pricks   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Peter Williams at NOVELLA March 13th, 2015 - April 5th, 2015
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]
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Tick, Tick, Bang: On Painting in The Forever Now   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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, 2015
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]
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Following Francesco Clemente's Fantastic Voyage   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Francesco Clemente at Rubin Museum of Art September 5th, 2014 - February 2nd, 2015
Posted 12/19/14
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]
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Mallrats   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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]
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Fade Away and Radiate   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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]
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The Walk Home   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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]
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]
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]
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Nights Without Armor   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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]
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]
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Luxe, Calme, et Volupté   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Henri Matisse at The Metropolitan Museum of Art December 4th, 2012 - March 17th, 2013
Posted 2/20/13
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]
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]
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Call Me Ishmael   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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50 Shades of Gray   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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Five Easy Pieces   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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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]
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