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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

History Lessons

New and Noteworthy at artcritical

André Derain, The Painter and his Family, circa 1939. Tate Collection. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002
André Derain, The Painter and his Family, circa 1939. Tate Collection. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

“The beauty of performance—or its weakness, if your perspective is financial— is that, in its most pure form, it is as an artwork in time, divorced from objects, fleeting,” argues Patricia Milder in her review, Time Regained: The “Happenings” Show at Pace.  The Pace Gallery’s monumental show captures the energy of this evanescent movement in a trove of hitherto unexhibited documentary photographs as well as film, art objects and ephemera.

If Happenings represented a savage break with abstract expressionism, Jonathan Goodman finds reconnection and renewal in the work of two contemporary New Yorkers, Lisa Abbott-Canfield and Bettina Blohm, the subjects of a show at the Amelia A.Wallace Gallery at SUNY College, Old Westbury.  “Their work, whether melancholy or upbeat, posits a continuing tradition” he discovers.

Janet Fish, showing a decade of recent paintings at DC Moore, is a scion of American realists and a product of New York School pedagogy.  Ilka Scobie argues for a feminist concern with reinvention in her work: “Her essays in domestic focus – everyday glass and plastic wrapped fruit, borrowed antique textiles, autumnal branches, souvenir toys – are at once poetic and political.”

Another contemporary painter visiting his modernist antecedents is Thomas Scheibitz, whose recent show at Tanya Bonakdar, reviewed by Hearne Pardee, engages with the legacy of the Bauhaus.  “While Scheibitz inclines more towards the whimsy of Paul Klee than to the systematism of Walter Gropius, there’s nonetheless an underlying dialectic to his method.”

Recent tributes at artcritical form a poignant contrast in the ages of their subjects: While Dorothea Tanning, eulogized by Adrian Dannatt in a piece titled Grande Dame of Eternal Exile, was into her second century, Mike Kelley, remembered by Maddie Phinney, Jane Hart, Dave Kudzma and Janese Weingarten, tragically took his life at a little over half her age.

There are history lessons to be learned, meanwhile, in the least bombastic-seeming images.  David Cohen celebrates the Israeli photographerSharon Yaari, included in the Silverstein Annual at Bruce Silverstein: “Bus Stop, (2007), two images offering front and rear shots of an inadvertent sculptural object in the form of a lonely, defiant concrete shelter in a rural setting impart ambivalent feelings that range from formalist delight to melancholy at the corruption of nature; nostalgia or a sense of foreboding at the very enterprise of settling a land.”

Lecture on André Derain

Publisher/Editor David Cohen will lecture at the New York Studio School in their prestigious Evening Lecture Series  on André Derain. A sequel to his talk last year on Walter Sickert, this lecture, Artist Out of Time: Leap Year Reflections on André Derain, delves into the problematics of reputation and rehabilitation of a neglected modern master.  Cohen’s thoughts on Derain, an artist obsessed with time and timeliness, takes place, appropriately, on February 29 at 6.30pm. New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, 212 673 6466