July 2010

Linda Weintraub & The Artificial Self

PLEASE, NO MORE COMPLAINTS. Several readers have complained that the previous post, “The Artificial Artistic Self,” was unkind to Jane Culp. No, I do not think so. There is no reason to talk about art and artists with any greater delicacy than we use in talking about politics and politicians. Our only obligation is to try to say the right thing. Straightaway, I do not know Ms. Culp. She does not know me. She sent me her catalogue because my name in on the Bowery Gallery’s press list. Continue Reading
The Artificial Artistic Self

JANE CULP IS THE WIDOW of painter Louis Finkelstein (d. 2000). He was a widower himself when they married. His first wife, painter Gretna Campbell died in 1987. Culp’s own painting carries echoes of both her husband and her predecessor. Louis’ fracturing of form and well-known admiration for Cezanne is visible in her landscapes and charcoal drawings. Gretna Campbell’s interest in wild locale, Maine’s Cranberry Isles, finds its correspondent in Culp’s chosen terrain: the California deserts. Jane Culp, Snowy Peaks Above Tioga Pass (2009) I like Culp’s painting. Continue Reading
New York in Paint

POPULAR APPRECIATION OF LANDSCAPE hinges on the romance of a good view. By contrast, the scenery of urban infrastructures—the natural setting of urban artists—is more challenging. Even middling painters can produce attractive pictures of beautiful places. It takes more robust sensibilities to seek order and grace in city sights readily ignored. Easy pleasure is not available. Viewers are on their own to discover the emotional keynote to scenes that have nothing picturesque about them. Adam Normandin, Moving On New York Moments showcases the urban landscape in a group show that includes many of the gallery’s best artists and several welcome guests. Continue Reading
Just Brag, Would'ya?

But here is my most important principle of marketing: Each person who owns my work is my “agent”.  I usually tell purchasers that I expect them to be an “agent”, that they should show my work proudly, and I want them to brag about it. I want to be informed if they no longer have that pride.
THAT COMMENT FROM EVAN LINDQUIST (b. 1936) was posted recently on an artist’s listserve. It was offered in good faith by one artist to others as a mitzvah, marketing wisdom worth following. Continue Reading
Cubism and Genius Worship

ART CAN NEVER BE A SCIENCE. Its claims are not falsifiable. There is no hard data on which to resolve disputes about what, when all boils down, are matters of taste. Yet the urge to gild art with the luster of science keep bubbling to the surface. John Silber’s Architecture of the Absurd sets the blame for this squarely in the lap of Sigfried Giedion (d, 1968), a Swiss art historian, architecture critic, and champion of modernism. Since it was published in 1941, Giedion’s classic study Space, Time and Architecture has been required reading for students of  modern architecture. Continue Reading