Pamela Kort

  • Michael Williams, Cow in Computer Lab, 2019, oil on canvas, 100 1⁄4 × 78 1⁄8".

    Michael Williams

    Michael Williams’s new paintings are as subversive as they are dazzling. His recent exhibition included both colorful semiabstract works and more straightforward figurative compositions, some of them mocking self-portraits. The mix showed just how talented this virtuoso painter is at deploying strategies that are currently fashionable in painting: ink-jet printing; compositions that look like pastiches of modernist styles, including dripping, collaging, and cutouts; motifs that verge on the grotesque or comic; and works that address the issues of framing and edge. The upshot was an insight into

  • Niko Pirosmani, Bridge with Donkey, date unknown, oil on wax cloth, 36 5⁄8 × 46 1⁄2".

    Niko Pirosmani

    If the extraordinary paintings of the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918) are still too little known, it may be in part because, since his death, Pirosmani’s hard-to-classify art has almost never been for sale. Many of his existing paintings are concentrated in the collection of the Georgian National Museum, far from the art world in America. Sometimes referred to as the “Douanier Rousseau of the East,” Pirosmani, too, was self-taught. But there the similarities end. Pirosmani’s paintings can hardly be characterized as fantastic or dreamlike; if anything, they are transcendental. Partly

  • Markus Lüpertz, Arkadien—Der hohe Berg (Arcadia—The High Mountain), 2013, acrylic on canvas, 51 1/4 × 63 3/4".


    America’s capital is the place to be this summer for aficionados of postwar German art as yet unfamiliar with the extraordinary and provocative oeuvre of Markus Lüpertz. After more than five decades slugging it out in the studio daily, the artist, now age seventy-five, is finally being accorded his first retrospective in America—and in two major museums to boot! While the Phillips will present a full-scale overview of his work made between the early 1960s and the present, the Hirshhorn will put on display dozens of the artist’s

  • Douglas Gordon, I Had Nowhere to Go, 2016, three-channel video installation, color, sound, 98 minutes. Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography.

    Douglas Gordon

    Douglas Gordon’s recent multichannel video installation I Had Nowhere to Go, 2016, unfolds in unrelenting darkness. The only relief comes from several images and flashes of color that appear for varying lengths of time on the large screen, two small floor-mounted monitors, and mirrors scattered around the gallery walls. This space is dominated instead by the sound of a foreigner reading, in English, dated passages in no particular order. The words ricochet off the metallic-looking walls until the voice goes silent. Suddenly a clatter of bullets and explosions flares up. There are also less

  • Verne Dawson, Winsor McKay, 2015, oil on canvas, 85 × 75 3/4".

    Verne Dawson

    Depicting such fantastical subjects as dinosaurs and even stranger hybrid creatures, as well as spaceship-like objects, the rather naive-looking paintings in Verne Dawson’s exhibition “Mermaid Money” at first seemed merely trite and self-indulgent. The exhibition’s title, however, hinted at what many of these works really are: searing commentaries on American consumer culture and its effects. One of the largest paintings in the show, Winsor McCay (all works cited, 2015) set the ball rolling. McCay, in case you’ve forgotten, was a cartoonist and animator whose images appealed to millions. His

  • Francesco Clemente, Museum Tent (detail), 2012–13, tempera on cotton and mixed media, 19' 8“ x 13' 1” x 9' 10".

    Francesco Clemente

    It’s been nearly three decades since Francesco Clemente’s last big show in Berlin, at the Neue Nationalgalerie in 1984. And yet the three large “Tents” (all works 2012–13) featured in his recent exhibition of the same name make it clear that, far from running out of steam, this hard-to-classify artist is still pushing the limits of his art. Despite his new works’ scale—each measures about twenty by thirteen by ten feet—their effect is as light as a sorcerer’s touch: With them, Clemente turns the notion of artistic visibility by grace of institutional programming on its head. These “

  • Brent Wadden, Alignment #21, 2013, hand-woven fibers (wool and cotton) and acrylic on canvas, 80 3/4 x 72 3/4".

    Brent Wadden

    Working on a back-strap loom, this young Canadian artist intertwines acrylic yarns with hand-spun wools that he then stitches together and finally mounts on raw canvas. The large-scale works that result are more than simply intriguing: They take to task all kinds of preconceptions about painting. For starters, they brazenly refuse conventional distinctions between so-called “folk art” and “high art” practice. These works flaunt their indebtedness to indigenous traditions of artmaking, particularly those from the coast of Nova Scotia, where Wadden grew up. Initially just as important to him was

  • Henri Matisse, La Tristesse du roi (The Sorrows of the King), 1952, gouache on canvas, 9' 6 7/8“ x 12' 7 7/8”. © Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


    THE INAUGURAL SHOW at the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, France, demonstrates just what a well-thought-out exhibition can do. Although several reviewers saw the show as merely presenting a hit parade of mostly French classics borrowed from the rich collections of its partner in Paris, the museum’s director, Laurent Le Bon, and a handful of cocurators took on a much more challenging task. In fact, the exhibition—as the question mark in its title, “Chefs-d’oeuvre?” (Masterpieces?), implies—addresses both the evolving meaning of the term masterpiece and the factors that contribute to works

  • Markus Lüpertz, Judith, 1995, cast bronze, 10' 4“ x 4' 5” x 4' 7".

    Markus Lüpertz

    Markus Lüpertz has invited misunderstanding for nearly half a century.

    Markus Lüpertz has invited misunderstanding for nearly half a century. Never mind the figuration: The East German iconoclast’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures undermine rather than confirm what they mean through images that do not stand for what they seem to say. Accompanied by a hefty catalogue (in German and English editions), this retrospective of some 130 works from 1963 to the present offers an important overview of Lüpertz’s sustained stylistic invention born of the artist’s ongoing dialogue with disparate traditions of picture making. Across Europe, the Albertina

  • Anton Henning, Oasis, 2006, mixed media. Installation view, SMAK, Ghent, Belgium, 2007. All works by Anton Henning © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY/VG Bild-Kunst.

    Anton Henning

    ALTHOUGH HE IS LITTLE KNOWN in America, Anton Henning has become one of Germany’s most compelling artists. Born in Berlin in 1964, he found art school so boring that he dropped out, opting instead to train himself. A libertine at heart, Henning not only learned to paint but before long began to sculpt, record videos, design environments, and make music. In the late 1990s, he even established a fictive band, the Manker Melody Makers, as an alter ego, assuming the roles of all its members and documenting the band’s faux performances as though they were real events. The idea of a complete and closed

  • Jörg Immendorff

    JÖRG IMMENDORFF WAS A FIGHTER, and I miss his presence. News of his death last May came as no surprise; after struggling against the crippling effects of ALS for almost a decade, he died in his sleep at the age of sixty-one. What has proved more difficult is the fact of his silence. Immendorff was one of the ballsiest artists I have ever met. He lived his life to the fullest, and even when he was confined to a wheelchair not one word of self-pity passed through his lips. He didn’t give a damn what people thought; all he wanted to do was paint, teach, and enjoy himself on the weekends. Yet he

  • Made in Germany

    If you thought Berlin was where it’s at, it is time to travel to Hannover to find out more about art being made in Germany today. This vast exhibition, spread over three museums, presents seventy-five works in various media by fifty-two artists, both German and nonnative, working within the country’s borders. Featuring artists such as Fernando Bryce, Sabine Hornig, and Simon Starling, “Made in Germany” sets its sights on recent work, with nearly 70 percent of the show consisting of brand-new pieces. Framing this survey is a cultural-political