Maureen Mullarkey

Art the Destroyer

THIS PRESS RELEASE CAME IN THE MORNING MAIL. It is a shining example of academic/museum culture. An initial cue to the tenor of things is the windy title of John Russell’s untitled painting. [Scroll down.] If you see only two glowing suns, not three as announced, do not fret. The third will show up sooner or later in another replicate. It is an inkjet print—quite a huge one—on polyester. Russel exhibited the identical central image in a group show at the Royal Academy, London, in Continue Reading
Martin Gayford on Lucian Freud

Man with a Blue Scarf On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford Thames & Hudson, 256 pp., $40 Art critics have been sitting for their portraits since Diderot, grandaddy of modern criticism, modeled for Fragonard. Under 18th-century Prussian rigor, aesthetics hardened into a discipline. Critics arose as arbiters and exegetes. The benefits of painting them rose, too. Johann Winckelmann, pioneer of art historical methodology, posed for Anton Mengs; Immanuel Kant, for lesser lights. John Ruskin held his stance for John Millais. Continue Reading
A Quick Heads-Up

THIS JUST CAME IN OVER THE E-TRANSOM: An announcement of an upcoming special showing of The Desert of Forbidden Art at Rutger’s Zimmerli Art Museum. Below is the press release. Mark your calendars. It looks terrific. Not your garden variety art film. [Be sure to click on the links to Savitsky’s bio and to the history of the museum that houses the man’s extraordinary—the word fits—collection.] Mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 13th. .. Description: How does art survive in a time of oppression? Continue Reading
Rebecca Allan: Landscape as a Devotional Motif

ENVIRONMENTAL PIETY IS A LARGE COMPONENT of contemporary artists’ interest in landscape. Artists announce their state of grace by genuflecting to the forms and ecosystems of the natural world. This displacement of religious impulses onto nature—Mother Mary, dressed in green—is seconded even by the churches. Think of the altar to Gaia in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Or the Vatican’s decision, spearheaded by Cardinal Poupard of the Pontifical Council for Culture, to buy an eco-indulgence for itself by planting trees in Hungary to offset its carbon sins. Continue Reading
Joel Carreiro, Bricoleur

NEW YORK REMAINS A MARKET TOWN but it is increasingly hard to call it a creative center. Even what comes to market tends to cluster around the contemporary commonplaces that clog Chelsea and its satellite on the Lower East Side. Much good work is exhibited outside the official precincts. If you can make it to the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University, you can see what I mean. On view is a splendid mid-career survey of works by Joel Carreiro, currently head of the M.F.A  Continue Reading