Molly Warnock

  • Pierrette Bloch, Maille no. 8 (Mesh no. 8), 1974, crochet on felt, halyard, nylon, ribbon, 7' 1 7⁄8" × 10' 11 1⁄8". © ADAGP, Paris.


    IN 1979, Bernard Ceysson, then the director of the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Saint-Étienne, France, published a monograph devoted to the painter Pierre Soulages. He began his absorbing text with a long epigraph drawn from a collection of prose poems first published by Victor Segalen in Beijing between 1912 and 1914 (and reissued in France in 1955). The suggestive excerpt describes the inscriptions on stone tablets the French polymath had observed at tomb sites in central China:

    Linked by laws as clear as ancient thought & as simple as musical scales, the Characters hang from one
  • Dorothy Fratt, I Owe You, 1997, acrylic on canvas, 31 × 26".

    Dorothy Fratt

    Dorothy Fratt (1923–2017) studied, taught, and began showing her paintings in Washington, DC, where she was born. Some of her earliest works, executed in a Cubist style during the 1940s, foretell her lifelong preference for strong, unadulterated hues. Yet she missed her birth city’s heyday as a center for Color Field painting, as she relocated to Arizona in 1958 and remained there for the rest of her life. An artistic homecoming of sorts, this expertly selected and flawlessly installed exhibition was, incredibly, the first solo presentation of her art in the area since 1948. Thirty-some paintings,

  • Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Fruits et riche vaisselle sur une table (Un dessert) (A Table of Desserts), 1640, oil on canvas, 58 5⁄8 × 78 7⁄8".

    “Les Choses”

    LES CHOSES (Things) is nothing if not ambitious. Curated by art historian Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, it arrives on the seventieth anniversary of a landmark exhibition at the nearby Musée de l’Orangerie, Charles Sterling’s “La nature morte: de l’antiquité au XXè siècle” (Still Life Painting: From Antiquity to the Twentieth Century), and like Sterling’s show, it includes a blockbuster selection of still-life paintings in the European tradition, from northern market scenes and Spanish bodegónes to Post-Impressionist bouquets. Yet the present exhibition is less

  • Pierre Buraglio, Fenêtre (Window), 1977, wood, glass, iron, 21 3⁄8 × 20 3⁄4 × 1 1⁄8".  © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.


    SOMETIME IN 1975, Pierre Buraglio began gathering discarded windows from demolition sites in Paris. Pickings were plentiful. The fourteenth arrondissement, where he had a studio, was undergoing extensive redevelopment, part of a broader wave of modernization exemplified by the recently built skyscraper Tour Montparnasse. The artist had opposed this trend, heatedly decrying the likely consequences for the quarter’s working-class inhabitants.1 He was nonetheless drawn to the cast-off fixtures, which he conveyed to a friend’s carpentry workshop. There he transformed them into wall-mounted artworks

  • Jean Degottex, Dépli bleu, blanc (Unfolded Blue, White), 1979, acrylic on canvas, 80 3⁄4 × 80 1⁄4". From the series “Dépli” (Unfolded), 1978–82.

    Jean Degottex

    More than a dozen unstretched canvases by Jean Degottex, each hardly bigger than a typed page, were displayed in a vitrine in “À la ligne,” a deftly curated and flawlessly installed exhibition devoted primarily to eighteen wall-hung paintings on paper or cloth. Several clearly paired sets demonstrated, with didactic clarity, one of his signature techniques, that of the report: the pressing of one surface or part of a surface against another so as to effect the mediated transfer of painterly marks. (The temporally charged infinitive, reporter, might be translated in this context as “carrying

  • View of “Pierre Bismuth: Everybody is an artist but only the artist knows it,” 2021–22. Background: Works from the series “Variations on the Theme of Nations,” 2019 21. Foreground: Liquids and Gels, 2013/2021. Photo: Helene Mauri.

    Pierre Bismuth

    THE FIRST THING ONE HEARS is the sound of rapid-fire typing. Projected onto an otherwise dark wall kitty-corner to the exhibition entrance, words flash into view and then disappear in an ongoing stream of text. The ephemeral lines (for example, LOTS OF DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS / MUSIC WITH A GOOD BEAT—GUITAR, DRUMS) occasionally recall Lawrence Weiner propositions, linguistically conjuring things not otherwise present to the viewer’s senses. They accompany a monitor silently playing the 1968 film The Party and reflect a hired typist’s unique, uninterrupted attempt to describe the movie’s confounding

  • James Bishop with his painting Hours, ca. 1963, American Center for Art & Culture, Paris, 1963.

    JAMES BISHOP (1927–2021)

    IT MAY BE THE NEAREST THING to a monochrome James Bishop ever made. Closed, 1974, is just slightly smaller—by a few inches—than the six-and-a-half-foot square format the painter adopted as his standard from the mid-1960s through the early ’80s. And like much of the work from that period, it situates him within a broadly “reductivist” tendency in postwar American art, running roughly from the less-gestural iterations of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting through Minimalism. One notes in particular Bishop’s self-professed inclination for the square as the most “neutral” form; his

  • Joan Mitchell, Cross Section of a Bridge, 1951, oil on canvas, 79 3⁄4 × 119 3⁄4". © Estate of Joan Mitchell.

    Motion Pictures

    THE CANVAS IS LARGE, standing more than seven feet tall and six feet wide. Painted on a white ground, the composition reveals numerous areas in which white paint has been energetically brushed over marks in other colors, progressively editing a roiling chaos of gestures down to a sparer, more defined structure with several especially prominent elements. In the upper register, just left of center, overlapping brushstrokes in shades of red, black, blue-green, and yellow combine to form a thick vertical line, as if marking out the operative axis. Just below this upright element, there appears a

  • Moira Dryer, Picture This, 1989, casein on wood, 46 × 48".

    Moira Dryer

    “LIFE IS FRAGILE + TENUOUS / & so is the work / Delicacy + vulnerability are / things I explore.” So reads, in part, an undated handwritten note by Moira Dryer, an elusive and often poignant artist who certainly knew something of life’s frangibility. Born in Toronto in 1957, Dryer studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and then worked for a time as a freelance theater-set and prop designer before committing fully to her studio practice in 1985. Her first husband, a fellow painter, had died a few years earlier, of a congenital heart condition, at the age of

  • Luc Tuymans, Bloodstains, 1993, oil on canvas, 22 5⁄8 × 18 3⁄4".


    LUC TUYMANS’S BLOODSTAINS, 1993, is one of the Belgian artist’s more allover compositions. Purplish-red discs rimmed with vermilion float within a rectangular format, accompanied by a smattering of smaller black dots. Erratically spaced, these circular forms drift indifferently toward all four edges and are in places cropped by them. Look a bit longer, and the picture splits, roughly, along an imaginary line running diagonally from the lower left corner to the upper right. To one side of that demarcation, the spots swell with life—white highlights imply glossy membranes, and a few well-placed


    Curated by Anna Katz with Rebecca Lowery

    Pattern and Decoration is often cast as a hedonistic countercurrent to Minimalism and Conceptualism, one that eschewed cool industrial surfaces and cerebral text-based strategies for a staggering panoply of craft processes, globally sourced motifs, and vibrant colors. Deliberately heterogeneous since its inception, the movement has remained largely marginal to narratives of postwar art. Its adept manipulation of received—and historically gendered—hierarchies nonetheless looks newly fresh in the current craftivist moment. Featuring nearly one hundred objects


    AT FIRST, it looks like an enormous beetle, this mysterious form mostly submerged in water. Two tubular ears, antennae-like, swivel in opposite directions, while the stump of an amputated horn rises above the preternaturally still pool. A rhinoceros. Stripped of narrative context and confined, like the picture as a whole, to the narrowest of chromatic ranges, the unblinking beast resides in a perpetual present, monumental and unyielding. The brushstrokes are opaque yet utterly devoid of painterly bravado: Drab brown and gray daubs denote a mottled hide; creamy strokes suggest ribs beneath the