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Michael Brennan

Terry Winters

Let’s begin by dropping some stock material and abandon, for a moment, dystopia, information theory, or recalling Piranesi’s prison etchings for the umpteenth time, along with metastasizing mutatis mutandis and all of the Popular Science pseudo-scientific (scientistic really) rhetoric that sticks so easily to the toothy surfaces of Terry Winters’s work. Winters is an important artist. His paintings have proven relevant because they reveal the often invisible operations of the wilder, real and artless avant-gardes informing every aspect of our culture now. Clearly, few artists, let alone an abstract painter, can ever honestly make such a sweeping claim.

Bill Jensen

I like looking at Bill Jensen’s paintings the same way I like watching little league baseball players. In both cases, all of their emotions are right on the surface. Emotional investment is an increasingly uncommon quality in the world today, but it was visibly evident in Jensen’s latest exhibition of paintings at Mary Boone’s gallery uptown. This show was the latest in a series that has defined the painter’s newfound and forcefully reinvigorated style. I think the shift first emerged in 2000 with an exhibition of works on paper at Danese that was an absolute tour de force—a rare event that many artists are still discussing. This was followed the next year by a spirited show of paintings at Boone’s cavernous Chelsea space. A second stunning run of works on paper returned to Danese last year, and this most recent show with Boone uptown was no less striking. In fact, it was quite theatrical, given the gallery’s dark ambience that was enhanced by slatey skim-coated walls and directional spot lighting.

David Reed

David Reed is a grand master—no painter has contributed as much in terms of expanding the vocabulary of abstract painting and maintaining its relevance during this era of marginalization—although there are many in New York who currently enjoy greater status.

Tony Smith & Anish Kapoor

If only everything were so black and white. The Tony Smith show at Matthew Marks was essentially all black, while the Anish Kapoor show next door at Barbara Gladstone, entitled Whiteout, was whiter than a wedding cake.

Stephen Ellis

Ellis’ current show at Von Lintel Gallery picks up where his last show of word-based “Jeremiad” paintings left off. In this new series the words themselves were left off.

Joanna Pousette-Dart Charles Cowles Gallery

How do two planes meet? Forget Henny Youngman for a second, this is the kind of question that painters often worry over.

Don Voisine and Richard Bottwin

One weekend I visited three different artists’ studios, including Don Voisine. All three are abstract painters, and I noticed that each of them was listening to blues music. Its just a coincidence, but I feel that it is also somehow indicative of our time.

Joseph Marioni

Although he has shown extensively in Europe for many years, it’s only in the past decade, when he began showing with Peter Blum, that his stature in America has grown large in a more public way.

June Leaf

With the exception of Henry Moore, I’ve always thought that sculptors made the best drawings. Sculptors, perhaps because of their acute spatial, tactile, and material sensibilities, always seem to insert an extra dimension into their works on paper—one often left unexplored by artists thinking solely in terms of painting.

Jake Berthot

Cézanne baseballs. Who are these for? The thought crossed my mind while handling some regulation baseballs that were imprinted with images of Cézanne’s bathers and his wife Hortense.

Harvey Quaytman

Harvey Quaytman’s current show, Flying the Colors, is strong, deep, and soaring. A celebration of the artist’s bold color work, it features twelve outstanding paintings drawn from the past twenty-five years.

Robert Yasuda

Robert Yasuda’s work stands well in a corner. His current exhibition includes three narrow corner paintings (“Half Full,” “Simple Truth,” and “Bonjour”) that work like studs or posts, rising vertically with a strenuous elegance, adding a sense of rigor to his otherwise atmospheric abstractions.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

All Issues