Author Archive

John Currin’s Painted Doozies at the Andrea Rosen Gallery

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

It is a perversely exciting thing, the encounter in New York between the Norman Rockwell traveling exhibition at the Guggenheim and John Currin’s new show of paintings in Chelsea. Facing each other across town, they take on the stock roles of victim and victimizer meeting in a public lavatory. Innocent Rockwell returns just as the [&hellip
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Master Ironist Pieter Bruegel the Elder at the Met

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

There’s been all that talk lately about the end of irony. Critics unhappy with the state of contemporary culture have denounced the practice of saying one thing to express its opposite as counterfeit, decadent, just this side of unpatriotic. Yet irony, a pantry-stocked staple of American culture during the past century, enjoys a distinguished pedigree [&hellip
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Mexico City: Vast, Baroque and Filled With Great Art

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Mexico City has always left its visitors tongue-tied. In his second amazed missive back to Carlos V in Spain, the conquistador Cortés wrote: "I cannot describe one hundredth part of all the things that could be mentioned, but, as best I can, I will describe some of those I have seen that, though badly described, [&hellip
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The Art Institute of Chicago

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Wide avenues, surprisingly little traffic, enormous trading floors, elevated trains, genuine old-time bars, Louis Sullivan ironclads and Mies van der Rohe skyscrapers, this and lots and lots of art makes Chicago a first-rate cultural destination. Cleaner and more provincial than New York, less glitzy and cosmetic than L.A., Chicagoans trace their serious engagement to the [&hellip
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Art in the Aftermath

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

There are still no words to describe it. No music as yet to commemorate the event. No pictures sprung from the imagination do it justice. For the first time in this prosperous American half-century the nation’s creative classes have been silenced, muted by the shock of an unnamable barbarity. The words of social critic Theodor [&hellip
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William Kentridge, Generous Conscience and Empathetic Storyteller, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The figure of the storyteller is archaic, a notion made ridiculous by a modern-day skepticism so generic and hard-hearted it imagines a present unlike any other in history. Robbed of its function in the West and relegated to the margins of modernity, the notion of the storyteller survives largely as a relic, a nostalgic archetype, [&hellip
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Judi Werthein & Leandro Erlich’s “Turismo,” the Most Ingenious Work from the Havana Biennial, Comes to Soho.

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Sometime in early November of last year two young Argentine artists, Leandro Erlich and Judi Werthein, flew from Jamaica to balmy Cuba loaded down with "twelve outsize crates, two suitcases and 6000 sheets of Polaroid film." They didn’t go to the island to practice traditional photojournalism or snap pictures of old Edsels for American coffee [&hellip
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James Ensor at the Drawing Center

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

In 1882, just before his death, Manet was made chevalier of France’s Legion of Honor. Four years later the Impressionists, who had been exhibiting together since 1874, held their last group show. The 1880s, the first post-Impressionist decade, also witnessed Van Gogh’s 10-year ecstatic swan dive (he died in 1890); Gaugin’s conversion from stockbroker to [&hellip
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El Greco at the Frick: The Most Compelling Museum Exhibition in New York This Spring

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The last decade has seen trouble for art in New York museums. Fashionista exhibitions like the Met’s Jackie Kennedy show and the Guggenheim’s Armani "blockbuster" plump the bottom line at the cost of defrauding the art-loving public. Mediagenic flare-ups such as Yo Mama’s Last Supper trade in vacuity and hype for real controversy. Pharaonic architecture [&hellip
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Leon Golub Paints Lasting Protests Against Grisly Brutality

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

A recent discussion with a colleague produced a seemingly self-evident formula: "The best way to make political art is to make good art." Getting into the spirit of things, we rifled through the ages in an attempt to assemble a roster of our favorite politically minded artists. The acerbic, skeletal work of James Ensor was [&hellip
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