Alfredo Ramos Martinez’s Flores Mexicanas, on view now at the Dallas Museum of Art, reminds audiences instantly how inadequate “virtual” art experiences are when compared to the real thing. Nine feet tall. Twelve feet wide. Luscious in color. A gasp-inducing, ornate, hand-crafted frame.
In James Little’s five abstract canvases in oil and wax exhibited in the marble-clad Modernist lobby of 499 Park Avenue (on view July 20 through December 1, 2020), he explores the nature of contradiction with mathematical determination.
I'm a little uncomfortable about this essay. Texas is surging with COVID-19, and I'm transfixed by a painting at the Dallas Museum of Art. But if, like me, you crave something beautiful right now, then perhaps this will help.
It's a painting wrapped in politics, romance and mystery. The Dallas Museum of Art (closed now, but with online offerings that exhibit its treasures) is making this picture the centerpiece of a show called "Flores Mexicanas: Women in Modern Mexican Art."
Heather Hutchison was born in 1964 in Corvallis, Oregon. Her father was an itinerant caricaturist and the family traveled through California, Oregon, and Arizona, finally settling in Bisbee Arizona, six miles north of the Mexican border. She had a studio first in Manhattan, then in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Since 2001, she has worked in Saugerties, New York where she lives with her husband artist Mark Thomas Kanter and son Dante.
Kasmin is pleased to present Valley of Gold: Southern California and the Phantasmagoric, curated by Sonny Ruscha Granade and Harmony Murphy. Valley of Gold explores the aesthetic legacy of the European surrealists and others who worked with similar sensibilities on the art of Southern California. Examining the influence of this charged period, the exhibition traces how its effects percolated through later movements such as California abstraction, conceptual art, and Light and Space.
The title of a thumpingly great show at the Whitney, “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945,” picks an overdue art-historical fight. The usual story of American art in those two decades revolves around young, often immigrant American aesthetes striving to absorb European modernism. A triumphalist tale composed backward from its climax—the postwar success of Abstract Expressionism—it brushes aside the prevalence, in the Depression thirties, of politically themed figurative art: social realism, more or less, which became ideologically toxic with the onset of the Cold War.
Figurative painting is the dominant aesthetic mode. Artists feud about how radical the government should be. Fights about aesthetic patronage and censorship dominate news headlines. These themes, which are at the core of “Vida Americana”—a new show at the Whitney Museum of American Artthat examines Mexican modernism from 1925 to 1945—also represent some of our contemporary art world’s most pressing issues.
“Vida Americana” is part of a growing group of major exhibitions that explore Mexico’s influence on international modernism. Altogether, these shows argue that Mexico’s cultural interchange with the U.S. and Europe radically shifted the relationship between artists and politics, reconsidered the role of craft in fine art, and gave birth to Abstract Expressionism.
Jackson Pollock’s best-known influences include European greats like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. But often overlooked is the artist’s time at New York’s Experimental Workshop, founded in 1936 by David Alfaro Siqueiros, who along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco made up “los tres grandes” who led the postrevolution Mexican muralism movement. Siqueiros founded the Workshop in New York City in 1936, guided by the philosophy that in order to make truly radical art, artists must shed old practices and pioneer completely new techniques. As an impressionable young painter there, Pollock was exposed to the approach of pouring and dripping paint onto canvases, more than a decade before he would introduce his first “drip paintings” in 1947.
A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, aims to rectify such oversights. The show, which runs from February through mid-May, shines a light on the Mexican artists whose politically charged, populist work shaped some of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, from Pollock to Philip Guston. The exhibit places Mexican works next to those of Americans who borrowed, often heavily, from their themes and methods. “Sometimes we talk about American art or Mexican art, but these are really fictitious borders, frontiers that do not actually exist,” says Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator of the exhibit.
Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is excited to announce Mid Air, an exhibition of new work by Heather Hutchison. These luminous abstract paintings meditate on light, air, and natural phenomena in our changing world and climate.
A replica of the contentious Man, Controller of the Universe mural bursts from a full wall on the fifth-floor galleries at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York for Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, opening to the public on February 17. A highlight of the groundbreaking exhibition featuring around 200 works by about 60 artists, the chilling reproduction is distressingly relevant in today’s fragmented and fragile sociopolitical climate.
The profound influence Mexican artists had on the American avant-garde in the two decades following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920 is to be revealed this month in a groundbreaking exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art 1925-45, which explores the overlooked creative exchange between Mexican and US artists in that era, will “reorient the understanding of art history”, says the show’s curator Barbara Haskell.
Diego Rivera is widely recognized for his influence on modern art. Active in the first half of the 20th century, he was collected by the Rockefellers, displayed at leading galleries, and remains the most expensive Latin American artist today.
While he and his wife Frida Kahlo were the most famous artistic exports from their home country of Mexico, they were not the only ones. As an eye-opening new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York argues, it was a group of Mexican artists -- and not so much the European modernists like Pablo Picasso or the cast of French Impressionists -- who shaped post-war art in the US.
Let’s begin at the end. Pass through the hard edges of her country and the science fiction of her colors, and as the decades fall away we’ll finally return to a room in California and the painter herself, summoning the cosmos. Helen Lundeberg finished her last painting nine years before her death in 1999, a few months shy of ninety-one. Almost seven decades earlier, in 1934, aged twenty-six or so, Lundeberg wrote with her teacher and lover (later husband) Lorser Feitelson a manifesto for New Classicism, a punchy critique of Surrealism.
We asked and you answered. This is the first in a series of announcements over the next few days of the winners in WEHOville’s annual Best of WeHo contest. Coming soon will be Best Of listings of pet services, spas, hair salons, gyms, and restaurants, to cite a few of the categories. And with our final announcement, we’ll announce the winner of a weekend stay in a beautifully redesigned room at the Mondrian Los Angeles, which graciously offered that prize to encourage West Hollywood residents to call out their favorite local businesses to friends and neighbors.
A groundbreaking exhibit that explores how modern art was influenced by advances in science, from Einstein’s theory of relativity to newly powerful microscopic and telescopic lenses, is on display at the Zimmerli Art Museum as part of an initiative bring together the study of art and science at Rutgers-New Brunswick.
SAN FRANCISCO — I first became aware of the artist Jess (1923 – 2004) in the late 1960s, when I bought a copy of Robert Duncan’s The Opening of the Field (1960) at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop on Plympton Street, near Harvard Square, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jess’s ink drawing was the frontispiece of that singular volume, which was part of my introduction to the existence of alternatives to official verse culture. Although I went on reading Duncan, I did not see any more of Jess’s art until I came to New York in the mid-1970s and saw his work at the Odyssia Gallery, where I also saw pieces by Irving Petlin and, later, Robert Birmelin for the first time.
When the New Mexico Museum of Art opened to the public as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico on Nov. 24, 1917, its mission was to provide the contemporary artists of the day with a venue for showing their work. Regional artists could put their names on a list and their work would be exhibited in one of several ground-floor niche galleries, or alcoves. The open-door policy persisted for decades until curated shows took over completely in the 1950s. Alcoves 20/20, which opens on Friday, Aug. 9, pays homage to the museum’s original vision by showcasing the work of 30 New Mexico-based artists. (The artists’ work appears in six rotations featuring five artists at a time, spanning a year in total.)
The summer months - July and August - are often a time when gallery-goers expect to see mixed shows of gallery artists; it’s generally down-time in the gallery cycle. But over the last few years there’s been a trend for galleries to curate summer shows that are more enterprising. And so it is with the current exhibition at Flowers, of hard-edge abstract painters from America’s west coast, 1960s California Hard-Edge, which runs until September 8th. It is, in fact, an exchange show in collaboration with Louis Stern Fine Arts in Hollywood, California, which represents the three artists on show and is simultaneously putting on a show of British abstract painters from the same period: Bernard Cohen, Michael Kidner and Richard Smith.
What are the chronologies of the catalogue raisonné projects for Feitelson and Lundeberg?
The Foundation placed a call for collectors in 2012. At that time we also began amassing data, photographing all work still in the Foundation’s collection, and visiting museums and private collections. I visited the Archives of American Art to view the Feitelson/Lundeberg Papers in 2012 and 2018, and visited the UCLA archives to view the Tobey C. Moss Gallery Records on Feitelson and Lundeberg. These archives have all been instrumental in filling gaps in provenance and locating information on untraced works.
Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) wrote in 1942 that her aim was “to calculate, and reconsider, every element in a painting with regard to its function in the whole organization.” The renowned Post-Surrealist’s precision of shape, color and composition is amply displayed in “Helen Lundeberg: Interiors” at Louis Stern Fine Arts, which includes 15 scenes she painted between 1943-1980.
In the painting of Olvera Street currently on view in the exhibition “Something Revealed: California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960” at the Pasadena Museum of History, the symbolism of masculine dominance may have been unintentional, but it is extremely poignant considering the subject of the exhibition. The old cobbled street is shown on a quiet morning. A saleswoman perches uncomfortably on a stool in front of her terra cotta pot stall and gazes over at two men browsing the pots across the way. Behind her, another shopkeeper stands in her doorway beside a display of ceramic vases and jars as a woman in a headscarf strolls along the sidewalk. In front of the seated woman, a small child approaches a dog who appears oblivious to them all as he busily scratches an itch. Above them all in the center of the painting and thrusting into the sky is the tower of the Los Angeles City Hall, a building completed in 1928– the only clue that dates the oil painting. At the bottom right-hand corner is the artist’s signature “V.C.M. Staples” – a genderless mark that reveals next to nothing about the artist who painted this masterful portrait of the heart of Los Angeles.
Pasadena Museum of History presents Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960, a fine art exhibition of over 250 works offering a new appreciation of the artists who defied gender and expectation in an era of inequality. Although some of the featured artists have achieved name recognition, the exhibition will focus on historically important yet unknown and underappreciated California artists and the role they played in shaping the arts and culture in California spanning 100 years.
Three abstract painters converge like an artistic Venn diagram in “Intersecting at the Edge” at the Claremont Museum of Art, where paintings by the late Karl Benjamin, a principal figure of the California Hard-edge painting movement, are displayed alongside abstractions by contemporary artists Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt. Curated by Dion Johnson, an abstract painter and former student of Benjamin, this show educes singularities and commonalities among its trio of constituent artists while suggesting Hard-edge painting’s enduring legacy.
“Abstraction represents self-determination and free will.” So avowed the painter James Little at a recent panel discussion held in conjunction with an exhibition of works by his fellow painter Joe Overstreet, but with the broader purpose of examining the question of “Black Artists and the Abstraction Idiom.” Little’s ringing declaration of aesthetic independence was couched in a language both explicitly political (self-determination being a right underwritten by the United Nations in its 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which held that “All peoples have the right to…freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”) as well as theological (though the problem of free will has earlier roots, it became urgent when Christian thinkers had to explain the origin of sin and damnation in a world created by a perfect and benevolent God). The implication of Little’s statement is that abstract art, by eschewing the forms of representation through which political and religious narratives are conveyed, enacts and exemplifies a kind of self-emancipation.