Patrick McCaughey

  • Tiepolo’s Originality

    UNSURPRISINGLY, G. B. TIEPOLO emerges as the hero of the exhibition, “Drawings from New York Collections III: The 18th Century in Italy.” His presence fills both the exhibition, contributing over 90 drawings out of a total complement of 300, and the century; the force of his personality, the range of his invention and the astonishing originality of his drawing style outdistance all his contemporaries. Even such luminaries as Piazetta, Piranesi and Guardi appear conventional in the face of Tiepolo’s achievement. Acknowledging Tiepolo’s superior quality is scarcely new, however. Since Detlev von

  • Thomas Eakins and the Power of Seeing

    RECENT CRITICAL OPINION ABOUT Eakins is surprisingly unanimous. The extremes of the critical spectrum agree on his status as a master and on the broader characterization of his achievement. The heroic ordinariness, the celebration of the “world of fact,” are familiar enough themes in the Eakins literature. Such agreement tacitly recognizes that Eakins is the most accessible 19th- century American painter to present sensibilities. We need make fewer “allowances” for Eakins than we do for either Homer or Ryder. The sheer hard-headedness of the work with its granitic images of scientific materialism

  • Clyfford Still and the Gothic Imagination

    CLYFFORD STILL IS RIGHTLY ACKNOWLEDGED as a major figure in recent American painting, his contribution seen as fundamental and original as Pollock’s, Gorky’s, de Kooning’s, Rothko’s and Newman’s. Despite such regard, he remains a surprisingly under-examined figure, as though his achievement was so obvious, it no longer required further investigation or closer scrutiny. Added to this is the much vaunted excuse that until his recent exhibition at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Still had not shown his work publicly in New York since 1952, although two retrospective exhibitions had been held in