Mar 152024

“Northern Lights”, 1959, oil on linen

“Untitled (Near the Cove)”, c. 1958, oil on linen

“Fresh Air”, c.1958-1962, oil on canvas

Although better known for her figurative paintings, Jane Freilicher also created several large abstract paintings which were on view last year at Kasmin gallery in NYC.  The paintings hint at a recognizable landscape, but through her use of color and energetic brush strokes she evokes the feeling of being immersed in the beauty of nature- without the boundaries of a more realistic representation.

From the gallery about the work-

The exhibition presents a group of paintings in degrees of abstraction, realized by Freilicher between 1958 and 1962, a period of great inventiveness when the artist was spending stretches of time in Long Island but had yet to establish a studio there. The series marks a crucial moment of discovery and focus for Freilicher, who went on to integrate the freedom, fluidity, and confidence developed during this period into her more recognizable still lifes and landscapes of later decades.

Freilicher’s abstractions have their roots in observation, informed by her studies with legendary abstract painter Hans Hofmann at his schools in New York and Provincetown. In this group of paintings, pastoral landscapes from Water Mill, Long Island, are translated through the lens of the artist’s memory into confident gestural compositions defined by their use of color and sensitive depiction of light. In a 2006 interview for The New York Sun, the artist tells writer Jennifer Samet of this evolutionary moment in her practice: “I remember being overwhelmed by aqueous light and the obliteration of the horizon by fog.” Freilicher’s palette returns repeatedly here to a combination of off-white and light blue, rendered in loose brushwork across an expansive pictorial space to give a palpable impression of the airy, open landscape of the country.

Breaking out of the domestic scale necessitated by previous studio spaces, this generative period saw Freilicher regularly visiting Water Mill and then returning to her Manhattan studio where she would collapse the formal elements of the rural and coastal environments into energetic, improvisational paintings that were significantly larger than her earlier works. While approaching pure abstraction, the paintings from this period retain a compositional recognition of their ordering principles—the horizon line, a boat’s mast, the position of the sun in the sky, and, in the artist’s words, “long vistas of clouds and water.”

The metamorphosis of landscapes that figure prominently in the artist’s life are representative of, as Roberta Smith identified in 2006, “a more personal, grounded version of Color Field painting.” This observation bridges Freilicher to a loose group of contemporaries whose considerations of their immediate environments brought great warmth and aliveness to varying shades of abstraction—Milton Avery, Etel Adnan, Joan Mitchell, Agnes Martin, and Willem de Kooning (whose own abstract landscapes inspired by his time on Long Island went on view at Sidney Janis Gallery in 1959).

Feb 242024

Hope Gangloff’s painting MacDowell Cheney Cabin in the Winter Super Moon, 2019, was shown at her 2019 solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery in NYC.  It is one of several created during her residency at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Feb 162024

Gentle Ladies Dragon Man, 2021, (Acrylic and graphite on canvas) by Jason Fox was part of the group show Time-Slip at Petzel Gallery in New York in 2021.

Jun 302023

“Amalfi Coast”, 2022, Oil on Canvas

“Terraza”, 2022, Oil on canvas

Above are two of the colorful paintings from Navot Miller’s exhibition, Eurovision, at Yossi Milo, in February of 2023.

From the press release-

With his distinctively vibrant palette, Navot Miller (b. 1991; Israel) draws from the flow of moments and memories in his own life, presenting the landscapes, architecture, and people he sees with fresh, inquisitive eyes. Growing up in a rural Israeli village, Miller found it difficult to express himself and his identity as a young gay person. Upon relocating to Berlin as an adult, he found a community of creatives who opened up new possibilities for self-expression. Among them were curator Joel Mu, who introduced Miller to Berlin’s alternative art scene, and instructors Michael von Erlenbach and Kathrin Ruhlig, who became his most significant mentors. Today, Miller’s bold, colorful palette has become a means of expressing the parts of himself that remained hidden during his childhood. The new body of work in Eurovision presents the artist’s past year living in Berlin and traveling through Europe. Nodding to the hit international singing competition of the same name, Eurovision encapsulates Miller’s experiences while journeying across a continent, collecting memories and forging relationships along the way.

The series of paintings presented in Eurovision focuses on those precious memories gathered during travel and the quiet yet meaningful moments of the everyday, offering colorful, candid snapshots from the artist’s life as he sees it. To capture these moments, Miller takes hundreds of photos as they pass, revisiting them later as the source material for his paintings. Amalfi Coast (2022) is painted from one such snapshot, depicting a group of vacationers as they lounge on a cliff by the Mediterranean Sea. Beyond the water’s edge, the complex topography of the rocky shore is simplified into flat planes of color. At the scene’s foreground, a man peers over the cliff’s edge, ensuring the waters below are safe for diving. Miller identifies the man as a father who, out of concern for his son out of view, scans the scene for any potential danger. Foregoing the climactic moment of the dive itself, Miller zooms in on this moment of preparation, quietly celebrating the familial love and the protective care between father and son.

A similar glimpse into the subtleties of intimacy is granted in Terraza (2022), which depicts a gathering of six men lounging on a Berlin terrace. Totally at ease, the men converse, cuddle, and convene in this scene of uninhibited repose. The commanding colors of Miller’s vibrant palette amplify what seems to be a hot summer day, as evidenced by the semi-nude men gathered outdoors. In terms of the painting’s composition, their bodies are the only portions of the work that the artist has blended. They consequently take on a depth and dimensionality that is absent from the rest of the rendering, bringing them into sharp relief against the flattened forms of their background. In this painting, Miller brings focus to the men who gather on this sunny terrace as a celebration of the simple pleasure of gathering on a summer’s day, and the joy of letting an evening’s events unfold as they may.


Apr 282023

Leo Villareal’s exhibition at PACE, Interstellar, consists of fifteen mesmerizing, colorful sculptures that are a joy to watch.

From the PACE website-

Villareal’s practice is part of a lineage of artistic engagement that explores the connections between nature, technology, and human experience. The artist’s upcoming exhibition with Pace in New York will feature wall-based sculptures, including works from his new Nebulae series. Emitting hypnotic, diffused light, the Nebulae sculptures are informed by celestial imagery and evoke the dynamism of space through interplays of color and shape. Villareal creates unique and specific sequencing for each artwork through code that is generative and visceral, like nature itself. As such, no two sculptures are the same.

This presentation at Pace in New York will also include works realized at a scale that Villareal hasn’t explored in nearly a decade: two-foot square wall-mounted sculptures. These intimately scaled artworks, paired with their glass enclosures, encourage focused readings of Villareal’s abstractions. Like his larger works, the two-foot pieces invite viewers to consider the boundary separating physical and digital worlds.

This exhibition is on view until 4/29/23.

Apr 262023

“Nancy Reading”, 1963-1964, Oil on canvas

“60 T-Bird”, 1964, Oil on canvas

“60 T-Bird”, 1964 (detail)

“Potrero Table”, 1994, Oil on canvas

Gladstone Gallery is currently showing an exhibition of captivating work by the late Robert Bechtle. The show includes paintings, watercolors, and drawings.

From the press release-

In Bechtle’s works, classic cars, urban and suburban streetscapes of his native Bay Area in California, and portraits of himself and those close to him are transposed with a candor and familiarity that allows the viewer to absorb quotidian scenes with a heightened and sharpened awareness. Formally flawless, the artist captures every detail, shadow, and reflection to further draw the viewer into each quiet scene. While many of his works are depicted with realist precision, others are portrayed by employing a looser, Impressionistic technique, demonstrating the artist’s fluid ability to memorialize moments in time without one set approach. Beyond these physical attributes, Bechtle has an astute aptitude for bringing to life the unseen facets of an instance in time: isolation, emptiness, contemplativeness, and the passage of time and light are transformed from invisible characters to palpable features that seem to become secondary subjects of the works. Through an unmatched ability to depict light and details with the exactitude of a Renaissance painter, subtle details, and textures, these overlooked, everyday vignettes are transformed into significant life moments that tell a deeply personal story of contemporary life.

Another important component of this exhibition are a series of significant portraits and self-portraits made throughout his career. In Potrero Table (1994), Bechtle depicts himself and art historian Whitney Chadwick, his second wife of nearly 40 years, sitting at the dining table at their house in Potrero Hill. With astonishing clarity, the artist meticulously captures every detail of the late-night scene. Frequently turning the lens back onto himself for the entirety of his artistic practice, Bechtle’s self-portraits lay bare the process of aging, and the physical and psychological changes that come with the lived experience. These tender and honest chronicles are essential clues to understanding Bechtle’s overall artistic oeuvre, the care he had for Whitney, and highlight his ability to separate from the constantly moving and evolving world in order to pause and reflect on his surroundings with clarity and rigor. Through intense concentration and sensitivity, Bechtle’s wide-ranging body of work chronicles a remarkable life, filled with the beautiful, overlooked, and often discarded instances that make it so special.

This exhibition closes 4/29/23.
Apr 252023

It’s the last week to see the Gerhard Richter exhibition at David Zwirner. The show includes a group of Richter’s last paintings from 2016-17, two of which are pictured above, as well as a new glass sculpture and recent works on paper.

From the press release-

Celebrated worldwide as one of the most important artists of his generation, with a career spanning from the 1960s to the present, Richter has pursued a diverse and influential practice characterized by a decades-long commitment to painting and its formal and conceptual possibilities. The artist has consistently probed the relationship between painting and photography, engaging a variety of styles and innovative techniques in a complex repositioning of genres. In Richter’s work, dual modes of representation and abstraction fundamentally question the way in which we relate to images.

The exhibition will bring together a significant group of Richter’s last oil paintings, made in 2016–2017, a number of which will be shown in New York for the first time. Richter stopped making oil paintings in 2017, and the final work on canvas he made will be on view in the exhibition. Part of the artist’s Abstrakte Bilder (Abstract Paintings) series—a cornerstone of his practice since the 1970s—the works on view exemplify Richter’s investigations into chance occurrences and the painted medium’s historical and material properties. With their highly worked and intricately stratified surfaces, the last paintings foreground the sheer physical presence of paint and color, enacting a mode of composition that is aleatory yet deliberately planned.

Centrally featured will be 3 Scheiben (3 Panes) (2023), a new glass sculpture that continues Richter’s exploration of human perception and the built environment. Comprising three sequential rectangular panes of transparent yet reflective glass—each one positioned upright and measuring almost ten feet in height—the installation invites viewers to look at, through, and beyond its surface, revealing the inherently subjective and situational nature of perceived reality. Richter has consistently created glass and mirrored works since 1967, often presenting them alongside his paintings and drawings and placing them in the larger context of their surrounding architecture. Crucially, while sculptural, these free-standing glass works are also positioned as a literal reflection on painting and image-making; they respond to the art-historical notion of the painting as both a mirror and a window, while also acting as a powerful corollary to the blurred effect of Richter’s photo paintings, which the artist began experimenting with in the 1960s. As critic Hal Foster notes, “The felt analogy between a composed painting and a contemplative viewer is so fundamental that we are not aware of it until it is interfered with. And this is precisely what the glass pieces do: our reflection, in the sense of our mirrored image, disrupts our reflection, in the sense of our contemplation.”1

An expansive suite of new works on paper from 2021–2022—some made with ink and others with graphite and colored pencil—will also be on view. Richter’s drawings constitute a significant element of his practice, allowing him to explore another aspect of the role of the artist’s hand in the creation of a dynamic and abstract pictorial narrative. Many of these works feature passages of cloudy graphite rubbings juxtaposed with equally hazy semi-erased portions. The artist embeds a sparse network of crisscrossing arcs and lines amongst this backdrop, forming an enigmatic topography that seems to map out the very possibilities of image-making itself. Other drawings on view are composed of abstract monochrome washes of ink and graphite, taking on a decisively painterly appearance; as Richter describes, these works on paper chart out a parallel but complementary path to his painted oeuvre, much like that of “a poem and a novel by the same author.”2

Also on view will be mood, a group of inkjet prints that relate to a recent series of colored ink drawings by Richter, both of which debuted at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel in 2022. Part of the artist’s extensive career-long experiments with the iterative translation and interplay of mediums, these vibrant prints are almost indistinguishable from their ink counterparts, revealing Richter’s continued fascination with the possibilities of image reproduction.

This exhibition closes 4/29/23.

Apr 212023

“when stone entwines”, 2023, Oil and enamel paint, graphite on cast aluminum, in two parts

“when stone entwines”, 2023, (detail)

“if only, if yet”, 2023, Oil and enamel paint, graphite on cast aluminum/painted wood

“if only, if yet”, 2023, detail

Miles McEnery Gallery is currently showing Katy Cowan’s colorful and intricate sculptures for her exhibition gods on a bridge.

From the press release-

gods on a bridge is Katy Cowan’s first exhibition of metalworks since relocating her artistic practice from California to Berlin. The resulting body of work is a culmination of her current experiences, coupled with engrained references to the historical presence of sculpture in the city.

Each work starts in a foundry where the artist casts solid aluminum forms, which are then adorned with a variety of mediums and methods: acrylic and enamel paints, sprayed and brushed. Cowan elects to retain the fractured casting bars, signaling a parallel to the remnants of the Berlin Wall. As personally described, a guiding principle in her process is to “combine a multitude of experiences onto one surface and find a way to seize that depiction.”

This overarching aim is realized when Cowan draws from natural and urban environment alike—the blooming trees, reflecting ponds, and embracing bodies. The most prominent of these influences are the stone sculptures that appear throughout the city, acting as constant fixtures in the landscape, changing with age, taking on the textures of time and layers of graffiti. In her essay, Stephanie Cristello cements their influence by the figurative turn in Cowan’s compositions, expressing that they “have manifested as sculptural abstractions and fragmented, embodied landscapes.”

Cowan translates this amalgamation of inspiration to her aluminum surfaces, contouring reflections with cast rope, painted lines and flowing points. “Each work constitutes at once a fleshing out of figures as much as a mapping of movements—whether bodies in a park or city street or marks that dance across the capacious plane of representation itself,” writes Stephanie Bailey. “[gods on a bridge is] where line, ground, and figure collapse into a vortex of intuitive becoming.”

This exhibition closes 4/22/23.

Apr 202023

“Last Words”, 2022

“Butterfly”, 2022

“Peony”, 2022

“Station Meter”, 2023


“Peony”, 2022 (detail)

Josephine Halvorson’s paintings for Unforgotten at Sikkema Jenkins, contain an amazing amount of detail and encourage the viewer to take in the little details of things they might ordinarily not pay much mind to.

From the press release-

Josephine Halvorson’s paintings emerge from chance or repeated encounters with objects the artist comes across while wandering and traveling. Her practice often takes place outdoors, naturally relating to daylight, geography, and season. The works in this show center on still life and memento mori, artistic genres that, for Halvorson, “hover between liveliness and decay.” She is drawn to things which have little apparent value—objects and spaces that have been, or may be, forgotten. Sharing the same air and hours with a subject, Halvorson finds within them latent expressions and buried meanings.

Since 2018, Halvorson has been painting with acrylic gouache on absorbent grounds. Inspired by fresco painting’s ability to indelibly hold color and mark, the artist has sought to make a sensitive surface that preserves her observations in real time. Painting in longhand, Halvorson works in a verité style, documenting the subtle shifts of shadow and thought. As she says, “I want to make a painting that remembers better than I can.”

This exhibition closes 4/22/23.