Christopher Blyth at Pelavin Gallery

CHERYL PELAVIN FINE ARTS, established nearly three decades ago, has changed its name. It is now simply Pelavin Gallery, under the directorship of Todd Masters, newly aboard as co-owner. Masters, an experienced gallerist, is the founder and CEO of Black Umbrellas, his own fine art consultancy. In its three decades under Ms. Pelavin, gallery inventory leaned toward floral motifs or diaphanous abstractions. Work was dominated by the kind of gossamer sensibility we think of, like it or not, as feminine. It is a bit soon to know for sure, but judging from the choice of Christopher Blyth for the this inaugural show, Masters brings with him a more robust—can I say masculine?—aesthetic. Continue Reading
The Art of Saving the Planet

THE ARTS ARE SHORT ON PRACTICING CHRISTIANS AND JEWS but long on vegetarians. Even longer on environmentalists. The two go together, like a statue of Mary on one side of a Catholic altar and Joseph on the other. Earlier in May, Victor Davis Hanson wrote that “radical environmentalism died this year.” Well, why not. If Philip Larkin could place the beginning of sexual intercourse at 1963, this is as good a year as any for the death of Gorism and vegan piety that attaches to it. Continue Reading
Sangram Majumdar in Jerusalem

By Heddy Breuer Abramowitz SANGRAM MAJUMDAR, A YOUNG PAINTER from the U.S., was the Jerusalem Studio School’s visiting artist for its eleventh Jerusalem Landscape Painting Marathon. He  brought with him 13 small paintings and several larger drawings for exhibition in the school’s Hall of Casts. His gallery talk drew an over-capacity audience. It was squatting-room only when Israel Hershberg, the school’s founder and director, introduced him. Hershberg opened with an acknowledgment of the death of Avigdor Arikha. An ex-pat Israeli living in Paris, Arikha came to prominence by abandoning abstraction in its heyday and returning to depiction. Continue Reading
Louise Bourgeois, Dead at 98

COMING IN OVER THE TRANSOM LAST NIGHT, and again this morning, were various expressions of pious regret at the death, yesterday, of Louise Bourgeois. “Yet another great loss in the arts” intoned one e-mail. “She will be missed,” said another. Not as an artist. And not by me. Louise Bourgeois has passed into mystery. To that, we rightly bow our heads. “It is meet and just to pray for the dead” was the motto posted in my grade school classroom during November, the month of the Poor Souls. Continue Reading
The West's Last Sacrilege?

MOST LIKELY, YOU HAVE READ ALL ABOUT the recent theft of five big-ticket paintings from the Paris Museum of Modern Art. If not, you can catch up here.  And here. Britain’s Daily Mail does well with this sort of thing. Lots of pictures. Its online edition is one of the few sites that illustrated each of the paintings stolen: Picasso’s Pigeon with Peas, Matisse’s Le Pastorale, Braque’s Olive Tree Near Estaque, Modigliani’s Woman With a Fan and Still Life with Chandelier by Leger. Continue Reading