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Robert Berlind

ROBERT BERLIND is a painter and writer who lives in New York and upstate in Sullivan County. He has received the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Painting, the B. Altman Award in Painting at the National Academy, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and an Artwriters’ Grant from Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation.

He writes regularly for the Brooklyn Rail and has written for Art in America since the late ’70s as well as writing many catalog essays for various museums. He is a Professor Emeritus of the School of Art+Design, Purchase College, SUNY.

In Conversation

Wolf Kahn with David Kapp and Robert Berlind

On the occasion of Wolf Kahn’s new exhibit at Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, which will be on view till May 26th, painters David Kapp and Robert Berlind paid a visit to the artist’s Chelsea studio to talk about his life and work.

In Conversation


On the occasion of her new exhibit Objects of Use to Me, which will be on view till February 7, 2009, the painter/writer Robert Berlind paid a visit to Harriet Shorr’s SoHo Studio to talk about the evolution of her paintings.

In Conversation

ERIC FISCHL with Robert Berlind

The following public conversation between Eric Fischl and Robert Berlind took place at the National Academy on March 19, 2014. A special focus was on Fischl’s autobiography, Bad Boy, My Life On and Off the Canvas (Crown Publishers, 2013). The conversation was followed by questions from the audience.

Re: Art Criticism Today

“Art criticism” covers an amorphous range of writing from intellectually ambitious essays—academic and otherwise—on aesthetic, cultural, and historical matters to hackwork for the popular press. It may be partisan, judgmental, interpretive, politically tendentious, or simply an instance of belles lettres.

ELENA SISTO Between Silver Light and Orange Shadow

What to make of Sisto’s paintings of young women? They are titled “Self-Portrait” although, unlike her, the subjects wear their hair cropped short, are somewhere in their 20s, and in general bear no resemblance to the artist.


Iconographic indications of loss and life’s frailty set the tone in Carl Palazzolo’s recent paintings.

DONNA DENNIS Coney Night Maze

We enter the Neuberger’s expansive, darkened gallery and are drawn close to the large, complex sculptural installation that is Donna Dennis’s “Coney Night Maze.”

ALEX KATZ Small Paintings 1987–2013

Alex Katz makes highly refined graphite drawings as part of his preparation for the bravura, often enormous pictures for which he is known. These paintings are not, in the usual sense of the word, spontaneous; his esthetic sensibility is cool, refusing sentiment in favor of “high style” (his term) and impeccable finish, for which prior drawing is necessary.


A cursory glance at Peter Campus’s exhibition shows large, elegantly composed harbor and seaside images of sailboats, dredgers, cranes, fishing boats, and trawlers at dockside. Look longer and Campus’s surfaces come alive, showing varying degrees of visual activity.

JUST THE FACTS, 50 Years of Looking and Drawing and Painting

In the late 1950s, Philip Pearlstein abandoned the expressive painterly language favored by his elders and many of his contemporaries and set out to work directly from observation.


The ample array of Barbara Takenaga’s recent, work-intensive paintings dazzles the eyes with the panache of fireworks. She is prolific both in her generous output and within each of her paintings, which are made of myriad, exquisitely crafted details.

June Leaf

There are many ways to enter June Leaf’s multifaceted domain: through her mythic story telling, her often idiosyncratic procedures with diverse mediums and materials, or through representations of herself making her art.


Just as we would not confuse a bowl of apples with its appearance in a painting, we ought not to mistake the information on display on any of Diao’s monochromatic surfaces for the painting itself.


For 25 years Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s ostensible subject has been trees: oaks, maples, elms, and pines that she draws and paints on-site near her home in upstate New York.


John Moore’s new paintings depict urban, in some cases disused, manufacturing sites in parts of Philadelphia where you’d least look for visual pleasures.

Notes on Looking, Thinking, and then Writing

The problem is not too many words; it’s the way they are used. Imagine if art writers had no choice but to indicate “evidentiality.”


Dutch historian Johan Huizinga’s 1938 book Homo Ludens argued that play is antecedent to and a key element of culture and is therefore a defining term of our species.

STEPHEN WESTFALL Jesus and Bossa Nova

Now that it has been a full century since the advent of non-representational painting in the West, and after so many styles since its loss of historical authority, what are the chances of an “alternative modernist, abstract vision of plenitude?”

RUDY BURCKHARDT Subterranean Monuments: A Centenary Celebration

This elegant installation celebrating the centenary of Rudy Burckhardt’s birth was a good introduction to his work for anyone coming to it for the first time. The photographs for which he is perhaps best known were intermixed with his paintings, an arrangement he did not favor during his lifetime, but which here demonstrates the continuity of his interests.


Unlike the gestural abstractionists of his generation, George McNeil (1908-95) did not develop a signature format—yet only he could have made each painting in this show of work from the 1960s.


Clippinger’s small assemblages of found slats and irregular scraps of wood are painted with geometric shapes that sometimes have ideas of their own.

BARBARA SANDLER Straight On Till Morning

With the straightforward formal immediacy of photos from the early 1900s, Barbara Sandler’s handsome young males pose proudly in jacket and tie, in sailor suits, and as boxers, dukes up and at the ready.


Almost any of Edwin Dickinson’s paintings could serve as a primer on the art; there is so much to be learned from his work about depicting people, landscape, light, and air, not to mention about the application of paint itself.


One is, upon arrival at Susanna Heller’s studio, warned to take care. There is wet paint on palettes and paintings, amid myriad drawings and studio paraphernalia.

Art: Picturing the Un-picturesque

Before we encounter a word of text, this superbly produced monograph begins with a full page image of an unimposing stretch of barren ocher-colored land, traversed by a blue slice of ditch water that moves upward to the right, away from the viewer. Some indistinct details over the horizon, foreground stones and fugitive patches of weed suggest the scale. Turning the page, the image continues from left to right (across the book’s gutter, as it will for four more pages), now given clearer focus and scale by oils rigs, nearby and distant, and three horses in the middle ground grazing.

A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley

Today’s art audience may be quick to translate visual semiotics into a verbal discourse, whether sociological, historical, philosophical, or whatever else; but they lack the developed sensitivities requisite to fully appreciate art based on engaged visual perception.

April Gornik Drawings

This elegant book contains superb reproductions of no fewer than 204 April Gornik drawings from the 1980s, ’90s and aughts. All of them, many as large as 38 by 50 inches, are given a full page or double facing pages.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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