John-Paul Stonard

  • View of “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” 2016–17. Center: Robert Longo, Untitled (Pentecost), 2016. Right: Robert Longo, Untitled (Guernica Redacted, After Picasso’s Guernica, 1937), 2014.

    Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, and Robert Longo

    Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, and Robert Longo are the three diverse artists compared in “Proof,” curated by Kate Fowle of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in collaboration with Longo. The trio are linked by the idea of historical witness and by influence: Eisenstein looked back to Goya, and Longo has made drawings of images from both.

    The display of seven of Eisenstein’s films is unforgettable. Remastered, digitized versions are projected in slow motion, frame by frame, in a wall-filling frieze (with obvious debt to Douglas Gordon). The effect is both mesmerizing and disruptive. Showing

  • Laura Lancaster, Contact, 2014, oil and acrylic on linen, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4”.
    picks May 02, 2014

    Laura Lancaster

    Laura Lancaster makes seductive paintings from found snapshots, showing people and places she does not know. The anonymous figures in these works are rendered even more obscure by the welter of brushstrokes that cover them like swaths of bandages, through which only glimpses of eyes and mouths can be seen. Dracula, 2014, shows what appears to be a young boy, perhaps wearing a mask, standing in front of thick foliage. Another figure in Untitled, 2014, is plastered in white marks, like a fattened version of the Invisible Man. The subjects of her paintings are adrift, their identities irrevocably

  • View of “Jodie Carey: Slabs,” 2013.
    picks April 22, 2013

    Jodie Carey

    Jodie Carey’s Untitled (Slabs), 2012, is an ambitious installation of seven large (about ten feet tall) cast plaster slabs, reinforced with burlap and mounted on wooden armatures. Crowded into this small gallery, they have a stronger, more intimate presence than their display last year in the roomier premises of the New Art Gallery in Walsall, England—an intimacy wholly beneficial to their effect.

    Gently and painstakingly tinted with colored pencils, the surfaces of the “slabs” bring to mind a portable Sol LeWitt wall drawing, covered as they are in delicate fields of pastel hue that form a

  • Richard Hamilton, Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu—a painting in three parts, 2011, ink jet on canvas, each 44 x 69 1/4". Unfinished.

    Richard Hamilton’s Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu

    RICHARD HAMILTON’S Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu—a painting in three parts, 2011, was left unfinished at the time of the artist’s death, at the age of eighty-nine, in September 2011. Whereas he had originally intended the work to be a single painting, it now exists as three canvases, each showing a different stage of the unfinished project. This was how it was exhibited in “Richard Hamilton: The Late Works” at the National Gallery in London this past winter.

    All three versions are ink-jet prints, produced after the artist’s death, of Photoshop files incorporating found, photographed, and digitally

  • Sara Barker, Draft overlapped, 2012, oil paint, canvas, steel, brass, aluminum, metal filler, glass, 40 1/8 x 24 3/8 x 18 1/8".

    Sara Barker

    Sara Barker’s thoughtful, delicate constructions of wire, metal, and canvas were the quietest, slowest objects on view in London this Olympic summer. Standing on the floor at approximately human height, or wall-mounted and appearing more like architectural features, they resounded with a strong, independent voice. Barker is indifferent to refinement of fabrication, expensive or seductive materials, or any overt hankering after spectacular effect; in this sense, her work offers a real contrast to the high-spec, high-tech sculpture so common today. In Draft overlapped (all works 2012), for example,

  • George Shaw, Scenes from the Passion: The Cop Shop, 1999–2000, Humbrol enamel on board, 17 x 20 7/8".

    George Shaw

    George Orwell once gloomily prophesied that the future of England would be in the “light industrial areas and along the arterial roads . . . everywhere, indeed, on the outskirts of great towns.” This depressing vision of modern suburbia has been given a powerful expression in the paintings of George Shaw, who for the past two decades has taken as his subject the unlovely Tile Hill postwar housing project in the British city of Coventry, where he grew up. Human presence is limited to graffiti, littering, and traces of vandalism; the mood is one of bleak melancholy. Depictions of painfully ordinary

  • John Latham

    John Latham, who died in 2006 at the age of eighty-four, remains best known for encouraging students at Saint Martins School of Art to chew up pages from the library’s copy of Clement Greenberg’s Art and Culture and returning the book as fermented spittle. The action (organized with Barry Flanagan) cost Latham his part-time job and established his provocative and, some might say, profoundly unscholarly reputation. Several exhibitions in London this past summer showed that it is the right moment to reassess Latham’s work and influence, not only beyond the Greenberg-chewing story but also, crucially,

  • Dexter Dalwood

    This midcareer survey of paintings and collages by Dexter Dalwood provides a full picture of his work since 1997 and confirms his reputation as one of the most interesting and engaging painters at work today. The display was curated by Martin Clark (the director of Tate St Ives) and shows the persistence with which Dalwood has pursued the twin themes central to his work: painterly quotation and psychologically charged scenes linked to famous historical figures and events.

    Two small paintings near the entrance of the exhibition, both made in 1997, show the dual origins of Dalwood’s work in the

  • Albert Oehlen

    Albert Oehlen has pledged to reveal his own history of abstraction in this exhibition of paintings and drawings, “Abstract Reality.” Most ofthe paintings were made in 2008, but the “history” here is provided by a handful of paintings made since 1989. It is not easy to discern what kind of history Oehlen wants to convey, apart from showing that he has been making large abstract paintings for most of his career but has in recent works lightened his palette, begun to incorporate posters and other collaged elements, and turned from “bad” to “beautiful” painting. Indeed, in an interview with the

  • Wolf Vostell

    Although Wolf Vostell used the term “décollage” to evoke a dual process of creation and destruction in his work, this retrospective exhibition, seen earlier in Bonn, framed his works between an aesthetic of physical heaviness and of the disembodied image of the television screen. Opening the display, three works titled Sara-jevo Pianos, 1994, created for a Fluxus concert that year, equate physical mass with gravitas of meaning, incorporating bowling balls, chain saws, a bust of Lenin, and a Ducati motorcycle. The heft and potentially over-determined political content of such works are redeemed

  • Hans Josephsohn

    Hans Josephsohn’s life began, as the sculptor describes in a recent documentary film by Matthias Kälin and Laurin Merz, on the day he left Germany in 1937, at the age of seventeen. As a Jew, he was compelled to emigrate, leaving his parents behind—he never saw them again—and he traveled to study art in Florence. He moved to Switzerland the next year, where he has lived and worked as a sculptor ever since. Fortitude and patience have marked his long and, until recently, underrecognized career as an artist. Following Rudi Fuchs’s 2002 exhibition of his work at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam,

  • Peter Doig, Cabin Essence, 1993–94, oil on canvas, 7' 6 1⁄2“ x 11' 9 3⁄4”.

    Peter Doig

    AT THE HEART of Tate Britain’s retrospective of Peter Doig is a room of paintings for which the artist is perhaps most known: the “Concrete Cabin” series of 1991–96, comprising views of a modernist building seen through thick, dark trees. Among these works, Cabin Essence, 1993–94, is one of the best, featuring a large expanse of forest with strange floating leaves of paint, composed as though the whole image were a reflection in water. Visible through the trees is the modular black-and-white facade of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation apartment building in Briey-en-Forêt, France, but the emphasis