ALEX BACON is a critic, curator, scholar based in New York. Most recently, with Harrison Tenzer, he curated Correspondences: Ad Reinhardt at 100.
I think every observer of contemporary art sometimes wonders if warmed-over modernism is the only possibility left for abstract painting. Once the dominant expression of both the historical and the neo-avant-garde, but now pursued only by a select few, the mode feels locked into an endless repetition of long-tired tropes like objecthood, flatness, and material specificity.
Alex Bacon visited Francesco Clemente in his Greenpoint studio to discuss the painters political, spiritual, and aesthetic convictions. They conclude by bringing all this to bear on Clementes latest exhibition, Clemente > Brazil > Yale, at the Yale School of Art, April 1 June 2, 2013.
We live in an era when the virtual space of the digital screen has become the dominant lens by which we perceive, and thus make sense of, the world around us.
Sylvia Plimack Mangold met up with Alex Bacon in New York City to speak about the threads that link together various periods of her career. A survey of works on paper by both Syliva and her husband, fellow artist Robert Mangold, is being presented at Annemarie Verna Galerie in Zurich, through May 24.
Landon Metz has become known for his elegant stained-canvas works featuring an increasingly spare vocabulary of biomorphic forms splayed across the picture plane. Recently these paintings have progressed to a new place that stunningly extends and redefines his already significant achievement. In his latest series Metz isolated forms from earlier works, which he blows up to an epic scale and executes as large-scale monochromes, having irregular stretchers specially fabricated and thinking to an unprecedented degree about their display in relation to the architecture of the exhibition space
Robert Grosvenor spoke with Alex Bacon over the phone from his home in the Florida Keys about important moments from his five decade career, and wide-ranging topics such as his photography, refitting of automobiles and boats, and enduring fascination with architecture, from iconic buildings to improvisational structures.
Over the past few months, Jacob Kassay and Alex Bacon have been having an extended discussion about the delicate balance Kassays work strikes between attention to aesthetic form and the conceptual rigor that motivates it.
On the occasion of her solo exhibition at the Rachel Uffner Gallery (through June 22) Sam Moyer invited Alex Bacon to her Bushwick studio to discuss the conceptual and formal evolution of her work to date.
In conjunction with Richard Nonass show at James Fuentes (Richard Nonas, March 8 April 21, 2013), the sculptor met with Alex Bacon to discuss his complex and imaginative theories of art and aesthetics, and their relation to his unique formation as an anthropologist.
On the occasion of Martial Raysse’s exhibition of recent work at Lévy Gorvy, Alex Bacon sat down with the artist to discuss his nearly six decades long career as an artistic pioneer, innovator, and iconoclast.
Alex Bacon met with Aaron Bobrow in his studio to discuss the complicated conversation the artist has been developing in his work between painting, sculpture, appropriated imagery, and contemporary commodity and digital culture. Bobrow currently has a solo show, Ventilator Blues, at Office Baroque in Brussels (June 12 July 18, 2014).
Over the past year Dean Levin and Alex Bacon have been meeting regularly to discuss the evolving nature of Levins work, and the ideas behind it. The following is a composite of some of the issues they have discussed. Levins first solo exhibition in New York City, A Long, Narrow Mark runs May 3 June 7, 2015 at Boesky East.
Using their uniquely laid out space in a characteristically effective manner, the gallery selected two major bodies of work from this period to spotlight.
When looking at Ethan Cooks work, you need to be able to both stand back to take in the entirety of the field and lean in to observe every detail from up close. Anything in your line of sight will disrupt your ability to properly experience the work. So, if you can, find a time to see Problem In Chair Not In Computer, Cooks excellent show at American Contemporary, when few people are likely to be in the gallery.
Despite having recently focused on more environmental installations of his Fugue paintings, Brussels-based artist Jean-Baptiste Bernadet eases in his U.S. audience with a more traditional presentation for his New York debut at American Contemporary.
Intentionally or not, Cordy Rymans use of the biological term adaptive radiation suggests the rhythmic relationship between his radiating patterns of paint and materials and their underlying, obdurate physicality.
Over the past four or so years Luke Diiorio has been advancing a unique statement about the possibilities of both non-objective painting and object-oriented art in our present moment.
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At the time of Ad Reinhardts early death in 1967 he was best known for his seminal black paintings, which had become recognized as forerunners of new artistic developments of the moment, such as Minimalism and Conceptualism. It is only now that the many and varied aspects of his career and life are becoming the focus of intense scrutiny and debate.
Alex Bacon recently sat down with Ishmael Randall-Weeks to discuss the artists thoughts on utopia, audience, community, and futurity. Randall-Weekss work is on view at Eleven Rivington (Quoin, January 10 February 10) and the Drawing Center (Cuts, Burns, Punctures, January 17 March 13).
In the midst of setting up three simultaneous museum retrospectivesat the Guggenheim, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonJames Turrell sat down with Alex Bacon to discuss his beginnings as an artist and his perspectives on a range of issues: art historical, cultural, technological, aesthetic, and even ethical.
Robert Mangold invited Alex Bacon to his Manhattan pied-à-terre to discuss his upcoming show of new paintings at Pace Gallery (April 4 May 3, 2014) in the context of the arc of his five-decade long career.
Alex Bacon met with David Reed and Mary Heilmann at their exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin to discuss their friendship, the process of putting together a two-person show based on that relationship, and what theyve learned from doing it.
Approximately a year before Rosemarie Castoro’s untimely death from complications of cancer, Alex Bacon visited her in her Soho loft and studio, where she had lived and worked since 1965. They spoke about a wide variety of issues relating to her early work from the 1960s, which ranged from dance to minimal painting to performance art.
"I remember feeling that everything in the world should be art, that everything in the world should have the touch of the handmade."
James Bishop met with Alex Bacon and longtime friend Barbara Rose in New York for only the third interview he has given in his over 60-year career.
Alex Bacon met with Mary Corse at her solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin (open through June 13, 2015) to discuss the issues she has been dealing with consistently and incisively over her five-decade career.
Alex Bacon visited Larry Bell in his Venice Beach studio to reflect on the artist’s long and influential career, which is currently being celebrated in an exhibition of work from the 1960s at Hauser & Wirth’s uptown space at 32 East 69th Street.
A small exhibition of Ostrowskis work in New York just closed at OKO. A solo show of his work, Emotional Paintings, can currently be seen at Peres Projects, Berlin through June 21.
Israel Lund has always been interested in the innumerable translations images go through as they circulate through various networks, taking on diverse forms as they do soincluding, but far from limited to, that of a zine, a Tumblr post, or a painting.
The difficulty an art critic has addressing the full complexity of his or her present moment is manifested in part by the fact that, historically at least, the best art criticism has most often had to do with the art of a critic’s recent past, rather than of his or her immediate present.
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At Ad Reinhardts prodding, in late 1961 his Parisian dealer Iris Clert offered him a solo show in her gallery, but because of expenses and scheduling it did not become a reality until June 1963.
In the form of a small Hudson Valley home at 438 Carroll Street, Retrospective Gallery recently presented Landon Metz with the opportunity to explore the potential for his paintings to intervene in, and in doing so to rearticulate, a particular space.
Julia Rommel has installed just two works in the first room of her current exhibition: a large, ravishing creamsicle orange painting, Punkin Chunkin (2014), and a small, mostly white canvas, with accents of grays around the edges and sides, Sandpipers (2013).
For his most recent series of paintings, Joe Zucker scored gypsum board, commonly known as plaster or wallboard, into a grid of quarter inch squares.
This presentation at David Zwirner Gallery is the largest exhibition of Ad Reinhardt’s blue paintings ever assembled, and the first dedicated to them since a seminal 1965 show at the Stable Gallery.
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Catalogue raisonnés, by surveying the totality of the work of a single artist, have traditionally served as resources for specialists, such as art historians and dealers.
- Reflections on Gerhard Richter: Painting 2012 by Alex Bacon
- Ishmael Randall-Weeks with Alex Bacon
- FRANCESCO CLEMENTE with Alex Bacon
- JAMES TURRELL with Alex Bacon
- SEBASTIAN BLACKs Pink blink and the Logic of the Screen by Alex Bacon
- ROBERT MANGOLD with Alex Bacon
- SYLVIA PLIMACK MANGOLD with Alex Bacon
- MARY HEILMANN & DAVID REED with Alex Bacon
- Landon Metzs New Paintings by Alex Bacon
- ROSEMARIE CASTORO with Alex Bacon
- ROBERT GROSVENOR with Alex Bacon
- MARINA ADAMS with Alex Bacon
- JACOB KASSAY with Alex Bacon
- JAMES BISHOP with Alex Bacon & Barbara Rose
- SAM MOYER with Alex Bacon
- MARY CORSE with Alex Bacon
- RICHARD NONAS with Alex Bacon
- LARRY BELL with Alex Bacon
- MARTIAL RAYSSE with Alex Bacon
- THINK HARDER An exchange between David Ostrowski and Alex Bacon
- AARON BOBROW with Alex Bacon
- Israel Lund's Analog JPEGs by Alex Bacon
- DEAN LEVIN with Alex Bacon
Ad Around the World
- Ad Reinhardt at Galerie Iris Clert, 1963 by Alex Bacon
- ETHAN COOK: Problem In Chair Not In Computer by Alex Bacon
- LANDON METZ Michael Jackson Penthouse by Alex Bacon
- JEAN-BAPTISTE BERNADET Fugue by Alex Bacon
- JULIA ROMMEL The Little Match Stick by Alex Bacon
- CORDY RYMAN Adaptive Radiation by Alex Bacon
- JOE ZUCKER Empire Descending a Staircase by Alex Bacon
- Luke Diiorio nine paintings by Alex Bacon
- AD REINHARDT: Blue Paintings by Alex Bacon