April 02, 2014, 9:32am
Back in December, I wrote an article in which I suggested that, after a number of years in which abstraction has been the dominant mode of painting in the “contemporary art world,” we might start to see an upswing in image-based painting. It is not exactly a Delphic prophecy given the way in which today’s market driven art world is constantly craving the next best thing, and, I might add, in ever more compressed cycle times. In conducting my monthly survey of commercial gallery shows this month I was struck by the amount of representational work on view, and even more so by the “academic” rigor much of it evinces. So what am I talking about? Have a look… – Steven Zevitas, Publisher
March 19, 2014, 5:39pm
Artists come and go, and so do galleries. Last week gallery owner Kristen Dodge announced that DODGEgallery, which has been in operation since 2010 in New York City’s bustling Lower East Side arts district, was closing shop. The news took a lot of people, including myself, by surprise. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
March 03, 2014, 10:12am
I let the cat out of the bag a little early with this piece. It was supposed to be released today on the NAP/BLOG and it was posted earlier than expected on The Huffington Post. Over the weekend I received dozens of emails, calls and Facebook comments - I am going to respond to all of them in good time – and the piece was viewed by more than 25,000 individuals on the Huff Po. A heartfelt thanks for all the great feedback. The response demonstrates that the issues addressed in the article/rant are on the minds of a lot of people. I look forward to continuing the dialog. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
I had a Jerry Maguire moment last night. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to write. The following thoughts are a bit of a ramble – a sketch really – and I leave it to others to expand on the dialogue. If I had a business manager, I’d probably be told that for someone who makes part of their living as an art dealer, putting these words “out there” is not a particularly bright move. If I had a boss, he might fire me. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I don’t have either.
February 25, 2014, 9:46am
I put together my first selection of Forty Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint in 2012. As with everything in life, a lot has changed in the art world over the past two years. Some of my favorite galleries have closed, including Harris Lieberman in New York City and the legendary Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles, while some younger galleries have either suddenly appeared or have developed their programming in truly noteworthy ways.
Of all the changes since 2012, the most difficult has been the recent loss of the visionary and beloved New York art dealer who simply went by the name Hudson. His gallery, Feature, Inc., has been a critical part of the city’s frenetic art scene since the mid-1980s. Hudson brought early exposure to dozens of important artists, including Alexander Ross and Tom Friedman. In the past few years, his championing of mid-career artists such as Andrew Masullo and David Deutsch helped bring their work much-deserved attention. While Hudson will long be remembered for his impact on the art world, it is his quiet intelligence and gentle spirit that I will miss the most. There is no word yet as to what will become of Feature, Inc. – Steven Zevitas, Publisher
January 30, 2014, 9:50am
There are more than two-dozen New American Paintings’ alumni on view this month, and some of our favorites are among them. Molly Zuckerman-Hartung opens a show of new work at Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago on February 7th, just two months before she appears in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Four extremely talented Los Angeles-based artists will have exhibitions in New York City this month: Sarah Cain at Galerie Lelong; Iva Gueorguieva at Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe; Frohawk Two Feathers at Morgan Lehman; and Lisa Sanditz at CRG Gallery (I should add that all four of these artists were featured in NAP early in their careers…yes, it pays to subscribe). If you are on the West Coast, then be sure to check out James Sterling Pitt at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco and Patrick Wilson at Susanne Vielmetter in LA.
Frohawk Two Feathers. Courtesy of Morgan Lehman, New York City.
It sounds like an obvious statement, but there is a lot going on in New York City in February, especially for emerging painters. I am particularly excited about the following exhibitions: Julia Rommel at Bureau, Katherine Bernhardt at Canada, Gabriel Hartley at Foxy Production, Davina Semo at Marlborough Chelsea, Whitney Claflin at Real Fine Arts, Ted Gahl at Dodge Gallery and Holly Coulis at Sardine. Our old friend, Eddie Martinez, has once again put on his curator’s hat and cooked up a must see group show titled Bad Fog at Martos Gallery that closes on February 15th.
A number of galleries around the country are giving shows to deceased artists who are just starting to become better recognized. One of the truly great “realist” painters, of the twentieth-century Gregory Gillespie, will be on view at Forum Gallery in New York City. Also in New York, be sure to see Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s show of work by the Croatian painter, Julije Knifer, and Michel Majerus at Matthew Marks Gallery. In Santa Fe, overlooked abstractionist Oli Sihvonen will have eleven paintings from his last, and largely unseen, body of work on view at David Richard Gallery. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
January 06, 2014, 8:52pm
I looked a lot of art while hunkering down to escape the subarctic temperatures blasting through Boston and much of the rest of the country. My monthly review of more than four hundred gallery shows yielded close to one hundred must-see painting shows, three-dozen of which involve New American Paintings’ alumni.
Among the NAP exhibitions are Radcliffe Bailey at Jack Shianman Gallery in New York City (the mid-career, Atlanta-based artist’s work was the focus of a stellar museum exhibition that traveled for much of 2011 and 2012); John Sparagana at Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago,; Astrid Bowlby at Gallery Joe in Philadelphia; and in Los Angeles, Annie Lapin (2010 NAP Artist of the Year) and Matthew Penkala, at Honor Fraser and Western Project, respectively.
There are two noteworthy gallery shows of artists who made their reputations in the earlier part of the 20th-Century: works by Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton are on display at Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta, and Mr. Push/Pull, Hans Hoffman, whose students included a number of prominent second generation Abstract Expressionists, is on view at Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe in New York City. A number of emerging painters look particularly good this month, including: Alexandra Grant at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin; Zoe Nelson at Western Exhibitions in Chicago; Laeh Glenn at Altman Siegel in San Francisco; and in New York, Anke Weyer at Canada, Davina Semo at Marlborough Chelsea, and Kour Pour at Untitled.
If abstraction is not your thing, there are plenty of shows of artists working with images, some in a more traditional mode. In Chicago, eighty-something Jane Freilicher will have a one-woman show at Chicago’s Valerie Carberry Gallery. Maine-based painter Gideon Bok has a soon-to-close solo show of paintings depicting the interior of his studio at Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, Texas. In New York, be sure to catch Yvonne Jacquette at DC Moore, Steven Assael at Forum Gallery, and Robert Bechtle at Gladstone Gallery.
After the jump, you'll find the entire must-see list for January. Enjoy. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
December 19, 2013, 3:59pm
Artists kept making paintings in 2013, and they did so in ever more inventive ways. If any single word can sum up the overriding concern of many younger artists over the past few years it is process. As of late, many painters have defined themselves not so much with a specific image or style, but with the way in which they go about “producing” their work. Fire extinguishers, bleach, the sun, printing technologies and even spaghetti have all been employed in the quest for aesthetic advancement. For these artists, the way in which an artwork is made becomes deeply embedded in the meaning of their work. The results of such technical explorations can occasionally come of as gimmicky, but, when successful, they can lead to extraordinary art and new ways of thinking about the medium of paint.
What does painting hold for 2014? If a quick survey of upcoming museum shows, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial is any indication, it will be more widely exhibited and talked about than ever, and mature artists such as Dona Nelson (a 2012 Painters to Watch pick) and Suzanne McClelland will, more and more, have their long overdue day. I will also go out on a limb and say that, after several years where abstraction has been the dominant language of painting, representational work will start to mount a comeback. Among the hundreds of artists I consider each year while publishing New American Paintings, I have noticed a considerable uptick in the number of young painters working with recognizable imagery, some in, dare I say it, almost traditional modes. (And yes, I am aware that representational painting never left, but the institutions that make up the so-called art world have been preoccupied with other things in recent years.)
Over the past year I conducted dozens of studio visits, traveled to numerous art fairs, and saw hundreds of gallery and museum shows. The list of Painters to Watch in 2014 is made up of some new discoveries, a few artists who, in my mind, presented breakout work this year, and a few old favorites who deserve wider attention. For the purposes of this list, I am defining the activity of painting as broadly as possible. Traditional definitions of media have become less and less important for emerging artists, and, no doubt, some of the listed artists would not consider themselves to be painters per se. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
Who is on your list?
December 03, 2013, 10:29am
Love them, or hate them, art fairs are now a firmly entrenched part of the art world’s commercial mechanism. Every art fair has its own unique feel and vibe. Some are stately and serene, while others are brash and raucous. Of all the smaller art fairs that take place annually, perhaps none is able to generate the amount of pure heat that the annual installment of the NADA Art Fait in Miami is able to. The VIP preview of NADA has consistently been one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the art fair circuit. On opening morning the biggest collectors in the world, and those on down the food chain, our lined up for what can only be described as a feeding frenzy.
This year’s installment of NADA, Opening Thursday December 5th, is sure to have manufacturers of tiny red dots working overtime to meet the demand. The fair can now be previewed on the excellent art web site Artsy. I spent some time checking it out and after the jump are ten things that are Must See as far as I am concerned. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
November 12, 2013, 7:19pm
There are more than two-dozen exhibitions by New American Paintings’ alumni on view this month. Among them are the always environmentally conscious Alexis Rockman at Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, hot Chicago export Scott Reeder at Lisa Cooley in New York City, and the extraordinary Sarah McEneaney at Locks Gallery in Philadelphia.
I am not overstating it when I say that Sarah is one of my favorite painters working today. Her ability to construct space intuitively gives her intimately-scaled egg tempera paintings a shocking immediacy. It might be tempting to lump Sarah in with the widespread trend of “faux-naïve” that has been pervasive in the last decade, but there is nothing “faux” about her paintings. My sense is that there is no strategic impulse at work at all. Sarah’s pictorial language simply is what it is and can be no other way
Sarah McEneaney. Courtesy of Locks Gallery.
September 11, 2013, 10:50pm
September traditionally marks the beginning of the art season, at least as far as commercial galleries are concerned. As collectors and art world professionals return from summer destinations far and wide, you can feel the art world start to shift into high gear. Not surprisingly, many galleries choose to present shows by their top talent in September, and this year is no exception.
Among the dozens of strong painting exhibitions around the country this month are more than three-dozen shows by New American Paintings’ alumni. We pay careful attention to the careers of our alumni at NAP, and over the past twenty years we have seen a number of them go on to achieve great success, both critically and commercially. Some of our favorites are on view this month.
Internationally acclaimed artists Wendy White and Matthew Day Jackson were both featured in NAP when they were still finishing their graduate school work; be sure to catch their shows at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago and Hauser & Wirth in New York City, respectively. Two solid, and in my mind underrated, mid-career painters, John Bankston and Alexis Rockman, have solo shows at Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles and Sperone Westwater in New York City, respectively. If emerging artists are your thing, then don’t miss two of Los Angeles’ hottest artists, Eric Yahnker at Ambach & Rice and Devin Troy Strother at Richard Heller Gallery, or Jeanette Mundt at Clifton Benevento and Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman, both in New York.
A big shout out to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, where I will be heading next week to catch the attempted reboot of Art Chicago in its glory days, Expo Chicago. Those living in Chicago, or visiting this month, have a lot of gallery shows to be excited about. Aside from the aforementioned Wendy White show, don’t miss work by the incredible Bill Traylor at Carl Hammer Gallery, or Rebecca Morris at Corbett vs. Dempsey. One of Chicago’s best known exports, Judy Ledgerwood is also on view at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
Devin Troy Strother, Courtesy of Richard Heller Gallery.