December 15, 2014, 3:36pm
As I write this, it has been a busy couple of weeks for the medium of painting. I just returned from my annual trip to art world summer camp, aka Art Basel Miami Beach, where thousands of art-hungry viewers were inundated with paintings of every conceivable scale, media, and subject matter. Some were good, some were bad, many were derivative, and most will be forgotten before the decade ends. On the heels of the various fairs closing, critic and curator Christian Viveros-Faune unleashed a caustic and much passed-around article about art fairs and their negative effect on the type of art currently being produced. He specifically targeted what he calls Zombie Painting, which he identifies as a bland and toothless sort of abstraction that seems to be all the rage. (Jerry Saltz has been beating this same drum for quite a while.)
Meanwhile, in the high temple of modernism––New York’s Museum of Modern Art––curator and past New American Paintings juror Laura Hoptman has just opened The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World. The exhibition features the work of seventeen painters, including Joe Bradley, Matt Connors, Mark Grotjahn, and the young and controversial phenom Oscar Murillo, and is the institution’s first serious group show on painting in a number of years. Most of the artists in this show are art market favorites, so stay tuned as the critical writing on this exhibition is sure to be a roller coaster ride. - Steven Zevitas, Editor & Publisher, New American Paintings
November 30, 2014, 12:02pm
It is Miami time again. I spent the last few weeks prepping for my own gallery’s presentation (UNTITLED, Booth #A04), and finally had a chance to peruse what is happening at the various fairs that will be scattered throughout the city. At the top of the heap is, of course, the fair that started them all: Art Basel Miami Beach. Over the next few days, two hundred and fifty + galleries representing thousands of artists will be busy installing their booths in preparation for next Wednesday’s Private Viewing. With the contemporary art market continuing to race along a break-neck speeds, all indications are that it will be another successful year for all involved.
I spent a few hours visiting various sites on-line to get the lay of the land. With very few exceptions I focused on emerging/mid-career artists…I mean, we all know what an Anish Kapoor looks like at this point. The list below is made up of artists and work that I am particularly excited to see next week. Enjoy the list. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
November 19, 2014, 9:30am
There has been a lot of talk as of late about the receding importance of brick and mortar gallery spaces and a perceived dearth of quality programming at those that still exist. While the internet and the general ease of global communication are sited as causes, the rise of the art fair is most often blamed for the trend. I did not see a lot of evidence of gallery Armageddon as I conducted my monthly review of painting shows. Even on the eve of art world spring break (aka Miami art fair week), dozens of commercial spaces around the country are mounting first-rate solo and group exhibitions.
New American Paintings’ alumni look great this month. In Chicago, one of the city’s most interesting emerging artists, Dan Gunn, has new abstract work at Monique Meloche, as does Terence Hannum at Guest Spot in Baltimore and Seth Adelsberger at ltd los angeles. In New Orleans, Havana-born local legend Luis Cruz Azaceta looks good at Arthur Roger Gallery. My own gallery in Boston has been taken over by the great Franklin Evans, who is presenting new paintings in the context of a floor to ceiling installation. Former New York City dealer, and all around great guy, Jeff Bailey, has relocated to Hudson, NY, where, this month, he is presenting work by University of Iowa Professor and painters’ painter, John Dilg. In the City, Sarah McEneaney continues to blow me away with her suite of hard won new paintings at Tibor de Nagy (Be sure to read Roberta Smith’s review of the show in the New York Times.)
I want to give a special shout out to one of my favorite emerging artists, Jaqueline Cedar, who has four new large-scale paintings at Gallery 106 Green in Brooklyn. I first did a studio visit with her when she was finishing her B.F.A. at UCLA, and she was already a skilled painter. She subsequently attended Columbia and since graduating in 2009 has only gotten stronger and stronger as time goes by.
Some of the many strong solo exhibitions around the country this month include: Angelbert Metoyer at Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston; Donald Moffett at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin; a beautiful show of figurative works on paper by New York School founding member Jack Tworkov at Valerie Carberry Gallery in Chicago; Brian Bress at Cherry and Martin and a major show of new work by Jonas Wood in David Kordansky’s cavernous new gallery space, both in Los Angeles; and Whiting Tennis at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle. As usual, New York City is brimming over with strong shows. Top among them for me are: Bill Traylor at Betty Cunningham Gallery; Lily Ludlow at CANADA; Alexander Ross at David Nolan Gallery; Sean Landers at Petzel; R.H. Quaytman at Gladstone Gallery; Ridley Howard at Koenig & Clinton; Huguette Caland at Lombard Freid Gallery; Gladys Nilsson at Garth Greenan Gallery; Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.; and be sure to catch the work of emerging artist Ted Gahl in a project room show soon to open at Zach Feuer.
I am a huge fan of well-conceived group exhibitions of which there are a number around the country this month. Two in particular caught my eye, not only because they are well curated, but because, as a pair, they effectively speak to disparate, but vital tendencies within the realm of painting. In Los Angeles, Overduin & Co. presents “Seven Reeds,” a group exhibition that includes an international cast of five of the most talked about emerging artists on the planet – including Jacob Kassay, Julia Rommel and Fredrik Vaerslev - each of whom are pushing abstraction to new places. On the opposite coast in Brooklyn, The Journal Gallery has just opened “The Great Figure.” In this show six artists working in a figurative mode – including Dana Schutz, Henry Taylor and past NAP cover artist Keith Mayerson – demonstrate how the oldest of subject matters can, in the right hands, be as relevant as ever. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
October 09, 2014, 9:12am
After a sleepy summer the art world is once again up and running full tilt. Among the hundreds of painting shows on view throughout the country this month are close to three-dozen solos by New American Paintings’ alumni. They range from shows by talented emerging artists such as Samantha Bittman at Andrew Rafacz in Chicago and Suzannah Sinclair in Boston to strong mid-career painters such as the phenomenal Sarah McEneaney at Tibor de Nagy in New York City and Emily Eveleth at Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston. I want to give a special shout out to my buddy Eddie Martinez, whose show at the new Kohn Gallery space in Los Angeles confirms what many already knew: Eddie is one of the best natural painters of his generation.
There is a lot of good abstraction on view this month. For those in New York City, the fearless Chris Martin has his debut at Anton Kern Gallery and the much-hyped Norwegian artist Fredrik Vaerslev can be considered at Andrew Kreps Gallery. Also in New York, co-curator for the 2014 Whitney Biennial and juror for our upcoming Northeast issue, Michelle Grabner, has just opened a must-see show at James Cohan Gallery. In Los Angeles, don’t miss Sam Falls at Hannah Hoffman and Pia Fries at Christopher Grimes Gallery. If you are in the Bay Area, visit Jessica Silverman Gallery to see the work of Hugh Scott-Douglas, who, like an increasing number of emerging artists, is obsessed with process.
While abstraction continues to look good this season, representational painting has been making a comeback and it owns the month. Over the past two years, more and more young artists have been engaging with imagery, in particular the figure. There are the aforementioned exhibitions by Sarah McEneaney and Suzannah Sinclair to consider. In New York City, emerging artist Gina Beavers continues to push impasto to the limits in her new group of paintings at Clifton Benevento and the virtuosic Angela Dufresne has a new suite of paintings with figure in landscape at Monya Rowe Gallery. Other shows of note around the country include: Storm Tharp at PDX in Portland, OR; Angela Fraleigh at Inman Gallery in Houston; Whitney Bedford at Carrie Secrist in Chicago; and the group show “Bedtime Stories” at Alpha Gallery in Boston.
In a quiet, but extraordinary exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, LA-based artist Paul Sietsema renders carefully selected imagery with such technical dexterity that they almost revert to real objects. Sietsema is not interested in trompe-l’oeil for the sake of showing off; at the end of the day, his paintings and works on paper are a highly considered critique of the production of cultural objects and the roles that they play as they circulate. Taken as a whole, this exhibition represents the various aspects of how a painting can function. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
April 02, 2014, 9:32am
Back in December, I wrote an article in which I suggested that, after a number of years in which abstraction has been the dominant mode of painting in the “contemporary art world,” we might start to see an upswing in image-based painting. It is not exactly a Delphic prophecy given the way in which today’s market driven art world is constantly craving the next best thing, and, I might add, in ever more compressed cycle times. In conducting my monthly survey of commercial gallery shows this month I was struck by the amount of representational work on view, and even more so by the “academic” rigor much of it evinces. So what am I talking about? Have a look… – Steven Zevitas, Publisher
March 05, 2014, 8:51am
It is a big week in the New York art world as six art fairs come to town, including The Armory Show and The ADAA Art Show, and the 2014 installment of the Whitney Biennial opens. Art dealers know an opportunity when they see one, so don’t be surprised to see a number of Biennial artists well represented in the various art fairs. I want to congratulate two New American Paintings’ alumni, past cover artist Keith Mayerson and Chicago-based Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, on their inclusion in this very painter friendly Biennial. Both are also currently featured in commercial gallery shows at Derek Eller Gallery in New York City and Corbett vs. Dempsey, respectively.
There are close to three-dozen NAP alumni on view around the country. In Los Angeles, Ben Weiner continues to impress with his painterly chops. His just opened show at Mark Moore Gallery includes stunning examples of his large-scale photorealist/abstract images, as well as a new series of small-scale works made with some interesting materials. Right nearby in Culver City are Brian Porray’s show at Western Project, and a soon-to-open solo of work by 2013 MFA Annual artist and Yale grad, Evan Nesbit. Four extremely talented LA-based NAP alumni are currently having solo shows in New York City, including Lisa Sanditz at CRG Gallery, Iva Gueorguieva at Ameringer | McEnery| Yohe, Sarah Cain at Galerie Lelong, and the young and already in demand Brenna Youngblood at Jack Tilton Gallery (Youngblood will be the focus of an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis later this year).
Some months seem to favor mid-career and established artists, but emerging talent is on view everywhere in March. In Chicago, William J. O’Brien, who works in a range of media, from ceramics to painting, opens a show of new work at Shane Campbell Gallery (the artist is currently having his first comprehensive museum survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago). In San Francisco, Altman Sigel is presenting the delicate paintings of the Japanese artist, Shinpei Kusanagi. In Minneapolis, the young and on-the-move David Petersen Gallery is exhibiting new paintings by hometown emerging artist, Scott Nedrelow.
I don’t even know where to begin with New York City. Shows by emerging artists that I am excited about include: Ethan Cook at American Contemporary, Jordan Kantor at Churner and Churner, Mika Tajima at Eleven Rivington, Rose Marcus at Eli Ping, Gabriel Hartley at Foxy Production, Liam Everett at On Stellar Rays, Donelle Woolford at Wallspace, and Lauren Silva at Zieher Smith. One of our favorites at NAP, Summer Wheat, opens a show at the Lower East Side space, Pocket Utopia, on March 16th, and will also be the focus of a solo booth presentation with Samson at the Nada New York art fair in May. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
January 30, 2014, 9:50am
There are more than two-dozen New American Paintings’ alumni on view this month, and some of our favorites are among them. Molly Zuckerman-Hartung opens a show of new work at Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago on February 7th, just two months before she appears in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Four extremely talented Los Angeles-based artists will have exhibitions in New York City this month: Sarah Cain at Galerie Lelong; Iva Gueorguieva at Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe; Frohawk Two Feathers at Morgan Lehman; and Lisa Sanditz at CRG Gallery (I should add that all four of these artists were featured in NAP early in their careers…yes, it pays to subscribe). If you are on the West Coast, then be sure to check out James Sterling Pitt at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco and Patrick Wilson at Susanne Vielmetter in LA.
Frohawk Two Feathers. Courtesy of Morgan Lehman, New York City.
It sounds like an obvious statement, but there is a lot going on in New York City in February, especially for emerging painters. I am particularly excited about the following exhibitions: Julia Rommel at Bureau, Katherine Bernhardt at Canada, Gabriel Hartley at Foxy Production, Davina Semo at Marlborough Chelsea, Whitney Claflin at Real Fine Arts, Ted Gahl at Dodge Gallery and Holly Coulis at Sardine. Our old friend, Eddie Martinez, has once again put on his curator’s hat and cooked up a must see group show titled Bad Fog at Martos Gallery that closes on February 15th.
A number of galleries around the country are giving shows to deceased artists who are just starting to become better recognized. One of the truly great “realist” painters, of the twentieth-century Gregory Gillespie, will be on view at Forum Gallery in New York City. Also in New York, be sure to see Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s show of work by the Croatian painter, Julije Knifer, and Michel Majerus at Matthew Marks Gallery. In Santa Fe, overlooked abstractionist Oli Sihvonen will have eleven paintings from his last, and largely unseen, body of work on view at David Richard Gallery. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
January 06, 2014, 8:52pm
I looked a lot of art while hunkering down to escape the subarctic temperatures blasting through Boston and much of the rest of the country. My monthly review of more than four hundred gallery shows yielded close to one hundred must-see painting shows, three-dozen of which involve New American Paintings’ alumni.
Among the NAP exhibitions are Radcliffe Bailey at Jack Shianman Gallery in New York City (the mid-career, Atlanta-based artist’s work was the focus of a stellar museum exhibition that traveled for much of 2011 and 2012); John Sparagana at Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago,; Astrid Bowlby at Gallery Joe in Philadelphia; and in Los Angeles, Annie Lapin (2010 NAP Artist of the Year) and Matthew Penkala, at Honor Fraser and Western Project, respectively.
There are two noteworthy gallery shows of artists who made their reputations in the earlier part of the 20th-Century: works by Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton are on display at Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta, and Mr. Push/Pull, Hans Hoffman, whose students included a number of prominent second generation Abstract Expressionists, is on view at Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe in New York City. A number of emerging painters look particularly good this month, including: Alexandra Grant at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin; Zoe Nelson at Western Exhibitions in Chicago; Laeh Glenn at Altman Siegel in San Francisco; and in New York, Anke Weyer at Canada, Davina Semo at Marlborough Chelsea, and Kour Pour at Untitled.
If abstraction is not your thing, there are plenty of shows of artists working with images, some in a more traditional mode. In Chicago, eighty-something Jane Freilicher will have a one-woman show at Chicago’s Valerie Carberry Gallery. Maine-based painter Gideon Bok has a soon-to-close solo show of paintings depicting the interior of his studio at Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, Texas. In New York, be sure to catch Yvonne Jacquette at DC Moore, Steven Assael at Forum Gallery, and Robert Bechtle at Gladstone Gallery.
After the jump, you'll find the entire must-see list for January. Enjoy. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
December 03, 2013, 10:29am
Love them, or hate them, art fairs are now a firmly entrenched part of the art world’s commercial mechanism. Every art fair has its own unique feel and vibe. Some are stately and serene, while others are brash and raucous. Of all the smaller art fairs that take place annually, perhaps none is able to generate the amount of pure heat that the annual installment of the NADA Art Fait in Miami is able to. The VIP preview of NADA has consistently been one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the art fair circuit. On opening morning the biggest collectors in the world, and those on down the food chain, our lined up for what can only be described as a feeding frenzy.
This year’s installment of NADA, Opening Thursday December 5th, is sure to have manufacturers of tiny red dots working overtime to meet the demand. The fair can now be previewed on the excellent art web site Artsy. I spent some time checking it out and after the jump are ten things that are Must See as far as I am concerned. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
December 02, 2013, 11:12am
Yesterday I posted past featured New American Paintings artists that will appear at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach. In today's post, I have selected other significant artists that I am eager to see. As I mentioned yesterday, I focused mostly on emerging artists. There is obviously a plethora of historic and blue chip work that will be on view as well, but I tend to focus on the new and interesting at these things.
Enjoy the list...and if you are in Miami, please let us know what looks good to you. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher