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
Whose Kid is Tucker Nichols?

SO WHO IS TUCKER NICHOLS? Whose kid is he? That was my first thought when I saw the name on an oversized, electric red envelope in the mailbox. At quick glance, it looked hand-addressed—immature block lettering dotted with a blot or two. It was the kind of Magic-Markering ten-year-olds send to each other by way of party invitations. Then I turned it over and saw a gallery’s return address. The envelope unfolded into a poster announcing Nichols’ third exhibition at Ziehersmith. Continue Reading
Ross Neher: Sanctuary

ROSS NEHER HAS DESCRIBED HIMSELF as a practicing painter and a partisan in the rough-and-tumble New York art world. In his book, Blindfolding the Muse: the Plight of Painting in the Age of Conceptual Art (1999), he sets down valuable—and contentious—arguments in defense of the art of painting. The art, mind you; not the concept. He addressed his book to sophisticated laymen, the very audience savvy enough to know there are two art worlds. One is the self-selected circular nexus of galleries, institutions, auctions houses and press outlets that celebrate a $12 million stuffed shark or the latest banality to receive the Whitney’s Bucksbaum Award. Continue Reading