Barry Schwabsky

  • Suh Seung-Won, Simultaneity 88-724, 1988, oil on canvas, 51 1⁄8 × 63 3⁄4".

    Suh Seung-Won

    Born in 1941, Suh Seung-Won is younger than the more-prominent painters—such as Ha Chong-Hyun (b. 1935), Park Seo-Bo (b. 1931), or Yun Hyong-keun (1928–2007)—associated with Dansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome painting. Although commonly grouped in with them, Suh, at least during the period covered by this show (1967 to 1989), seems to come from a different branch of abstraction’s family tree: Where their art is earthy, based in process and materials, his hard-edged shapes are rendered in flat hues and inexpressive surfaces, exuding a spirit more akin to that of Russian Suprematism.

    The three earliest

  • Robert Colescott, Eat Dem Taters, 1975, acrylic on canvas, 59 × 79".

    Robert Colescott

    A DECADE AFTER HIS DEATH, Robert Colescott is still mostly known for his paintings of “the old masters in blackface,” as he once lamented. His pastiches—among them Eat Dem Taters, 1975 (take that, van Gogh!); George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975; and I Gets a Thrill, Too, When I Sees De Koo, 1978, which I had not realized is a pastiche of a pastiche, using the figure of Aunt Jemima to get at de Kooning by way of Mel Ramos—subvert what they pay homage to, substituting black figures for white ones to reimagine historic events and images, even

  • Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Creativity, 2019, mixed media, 12 × 9".

    Cindy Ji Hye Kim

    As a writer, I know what twisting myself into knots over a word is like, though I rarely do this over a letter of the alphabet. But for an artist who might consider script a kind of drawing, the act of forming a single character might, for all I know, become more fraught. Cindy Ji Hye Kim is a draftsperson of implicit elegance and concision, with a style that falls somewhere between Max Fleischer and Christina Ramberg. To imagine Kim manipulating a pen with anything but ease is difficult, yet her paintings and drawings express anxieties about writing. These works feature stylized female figures,

  • Jean Dubuffet, Lili aux objets en désordre (Lili with Objects In Disorder), 1936, oil on canvas, 39 3⁄8 × 24 3⁄4".

    Jean Dubuffet

    JEAN DUBUFFET has been having a moment—or maybe something longer, and certainly more expansive. New York’s Museum of Modern Art had a very well received in-house show of his work in 2014–15, which was quickly followed by a display of the artist’s collection of art brut that opened at the nearby American Folk Art Museum in 2015. (Writing on the latter show, Roberta Smith slyly suggested that many of Dubuffet’s best efforts were made during a ten-year period when the collection was out of his hands, temporarily housed on Long Island.) This New York affair continued in 2016, when Acquavella Galleries

  • Alissa McKendrick, Untitled, 2019, oil on canvas, 14 × 10".

    Alissa McKendrick

    “Resentment” was a surprising title for a show of five vibrant, high-spirited paintings, none of which immediately gave off vibes of bitterness or rancor, even if their energy contained an understated ferocity. Alissa McKendrick is a fluent colorist with a propensity for subtly dissonant combinations of fruity, saturated hues that produce a jarring, acidic sweetness. Placing her stylishly accoutred female protagonists in spatially nonspecific color fields where they act out equivocal scenarios (motorcycling, nearly naked, past an overturned car, or confronting a seated ape as if engaged in

  • “ROBERT COLESCOTT: ART AND RACE MATTERS”

    Curated by Lowery Sims and Matthew Weseley

    Robert Colescott (1925–2009) was an odd man out among the painters of his time. His work has something in common with that of Bay Area “funk” artists such as Joan Brown, Peter Saul, and William T. Wiley, but has a satirical edge all its own, thanks to Colescott’s fantastical, sometimes outrageous approach to racial politics, art history, and popular culture—exemplified by his most famous work, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975. Before Kerry James Marshall, Gary Simmons, or Kara Walker, there was

  • View of “Marina Adams,” 2019. From left: OZ, 2018; Days and Nights, 2018; Cheops, 2018.

    Marina Adams

    Although Marina Adams began exhibiting in group shows as early as 1983, she has only lately come to prominence. If her 2017 solo exhibition “Soft Power,” also at Salon 94, was, as the poet and critic John Yau noted at the time, “her breakthrough,” then this show, “Anemones,” will likely be remembered as the one that cemented her reputation as among the best abstract painters around. In particular, with the six large canvases in the gallery’s main space (seven small ones were in its upstairs reception area) she used scale to achieve something that’s been rare in contemporary painting: a sense of

  • Thomas Joshua Cooper, Moonrise over Montauk—The North Atlantic Ocean, Montauk Point, “The End,” East Hampton Township, (South Fork) Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, 2016–2017, gelatin silver print, 30 × 40".

    Thomas Joshua Cooper

    Yes, a photograph is of some thing or some place. But what sort of relationship is covered by that little word of? Thomas Joshua Cooper’s work reminds us just how mysterious the link between a picture and its subject can be.

    Cooper is exceedingly deliberate in choosing what to capture. His decisions involve painstaking historical research. A long-term project of his has been to make pictures along all the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. In pursuit of opportunities to do so, he has—as the Parrish Art Museum’s director, Terrie Sultan, explains in the catalogue for this exhibition, “Refuge”—“journeyed

  • R.H. Quaytman, Portrait of Warren Niesluchowski, Chapter 35, 2019, silkscreen ink, oil, gesso on wood, 20 x 32 1/3".
    passages July 17, 2019

    Warren Niesluchowski (1946–2019)

    IN EARLY MAY I started to receive emails from friends who were at the professional viewing days for the Venice Biennale. No, they weren’t wondering where I was, why I wasn’t there. They were asking, instead, if I knew anything about the whereabouts of the one person without whom such an event felt incomplete: Did I know if Warren Niesluchowski was coming?

    Warren wouldn’t be making it to Venice this time, I had to tell them. He was in a hospital bed in New York—the latest (and, it would turn out, the last) of the many temporary accommodations he’d had the use of over the past two decades.

    Why so

  • Sangram Majumdar, expulsion, 2019, oil on linen, 44 × 38".

    Sangram Majumdar

    Certain artists settle easily and without trepidation into a credible style that allows them to proceed in an unencumbered, linear fashion; Sangram Majumdar is apparently not among them. A decade ago, it made sense for the critic Jennifer Samet to discuss the Kolkata-born New Yorker’s work under the rubric “painterly representation”; at that time his art was rather academic in character, with an affinity for restrained color enlivened by a sensitive touch. Fellow painter Kyle Staver noted—and not without admiration—“a stubborn and humorless aspect” to this approach. By 2013, Majumdar had mostly

  • Bernard Gilardi, It’s a Draw, 1963, oil on Masonite, 36 × 48".

    Bernard Gilardi

    The poet and critic Parker Tyler, in the 1943 issue of View magazine titled “America Fantastica,” observed that the fantastic in art, “while primitive, is also sophisticated, since it makes direct appeal to that anarchy of elements which binds the most rational man to the lunatic.” I believe Tyler would have immediately recognized Bernard Gilardi as an artist of this stripe, and, if labels are useful at all, I find this a more informative way to explain what kind of artist he was than trotting out more conventional rubrics such as outsider, self-taught, or naïve. Born in 1920, Gilardi spent his

  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Closer to a Comfort, 2018, oil on linen, 51 1⁄2 × 78 3⁄4".

    Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

    “In Lieu of a Louder Love,” Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s exhibition of twenty-six paintings—including two diptychs and a quadriptych—occupied both of Jack Shainman Gallery’s Chelsea spaces. These imaginary portraits conveyed a timelessness, a sense that they might have been made either a hundred years ago or just the other day. Yiadom-Boakye’s work does not elicit mere nostalgia; it evokes a sense of inward reflection, less affected by immediate sensations than by what’s been brooding in the soul. Although the artist relies on imagination rather than observation, she still uses photographs and other