Paul Galvez


    Between two bouts of military service in 1904 and 1914, André Derain—one of the original Fauves and certainly the best not named Matisse—executed three bodies of work that secured his place in the second tier of avant-garde painting. Daring color experiments in dialogue with Matisse (while both were staying in Collioure, France, in the summer of 1905) and a series painted in London the next year at the urging of dealer Ambroise Vollard were followed by a group of bathing pictures, which manage to almost hold their own despite the fact that they were begun the


    Outside of small gallery shows, there have been few opportunities in recent years to see the extraordinary work of this Zagreb, Croatia–based postwar collective. In MoMA’s cacophonous 2015 exhibition “Transmissions,” the austere yet elegant installation of work by Josip Vaništa, Julije Knifer, and the brainy curator-critic Mangelos was a welcome reprieve. But it turns out that this was only an hors d’oeuvre. This summer in Liechtenstein, we will see more fully how the group’s identity—part Malevich, part Manzoni—developed as a result of its members having

  • Blake Rayne

    I have seen the work of Blake Rayne in bits and pieces over the years, and in each instance I have been puzzled by what I like to call the ugly ducklings nestled within his installations. By this I mean the one work out of a gaggle of beauties that seems to be deliberately, aggressively out of place. For example, the yogurt container–cum–projection screen perched on the windowsill of Campoli Presti’s London gallery back in 2012 (Yogurt Cinema, 2014). In a mostly pristine exhibition, it stood out like a sore thumb.

    Sometimes the clash makes sense. The decision to hang paintings next to their wooden


    ON NEW YORK'S HIGH LINE, between Gansevoort Street and the Standard Hotel, a black monolith encrusted with strange paneled reliefs rises from the disused railroad tracks that run through this elevated park. There seem to be objects embedded within the reliefs, but on closer inspection, it turns out that these are not actually lengths of rope or bricks, but casts of them fossilized in a tar-like rubber. Their ornamental arrangement suggests a message written in code, like the indecipherable hieroglyphics of some alien civilization emerging from the wreckage of our own. Thus arises the paradox


    MICHEL SERRES is one of the most important philosophers of recent decades—and yet he remains little known to the English-speaking world. This may be partly because he is as much an aesthetic voice as he is an analytical one: Celebrated for his pathbreaking work in the philosophy of science, he has also defied that discipline with his singularly poetic language, which is highly difficult to translate. Indeed, he has made one of his signature subjects the mediation and translation between disparate fields and competencies, bringing together ecology and sociology, technology and culture,


    ONE OF THE MOST HACKNEYED ROUTINES of art criticism is the up-close-and-personal account of the artist at work. This usually involves the writer’s physical presence (“I’m sitting in X’s studio . . .”) tethered to some unforeseen calamity (“. . . and then, oops, the canvas fell over”).

    I want to thank Jonathan Binet for sparing me this exercise—not because one cannot gain insight into his small yet impressive body of work through the day-to-day accidents of the studio, but because those accidents are themselves the subject of the work. Visiting Binet’s first solo museum show at the CAPC Musée

  • Le Pont

    En route to Paris in 1792, a revolutionary volunteer army from Marseilles marched to the beat of the catchy, bloodthirsty tune “La Marseillaise,” which soon became the French national anthem. This year, the traffic runs the other way, as France’s second-largest city takes its turn as one of Europe’s official Capitals of Culture. Anchoring this effort for visual art is the Musée d’Art Contemporain, which, partnering with some twenty local venues—including three sites within Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse—is staging “Le Pont.” The aim is to highlight, via the work

  • “A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance”

    Taking its title from David Hockney’s iconic 1967 painting of a California swimming pool, “A Bigger Splash” will attempt to map the expanded field of painting-as-performance since Jackson Pollock.

    Taking its title from David Hockney’s iconic 1967 painting of a California swimming pool, “A Bigger Splash” will attempt to map the expanded field of painting-as-performance since Jackson Pollock. The show’s roster of more than forty artists working across a range of media casts a wide net both generationally and geographically, embracing, among others, Italian Situationist Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, Soviet-era Slovenian collective IRWIN, and the New York–based Ei Arakawa. There’s a risk that such a survey will wind up muddying

  • Isabelle Cornaro

    Just as some of the best recent French art is made by artists who live or have lived outside France, many of its best exhibitions take place outside Paris, in the provinces, where regional institutions subject themselves to risks that their more venerable metropolitan counterparts are unwilling to undertake. Isabelle Cornaro’s stunning exhibition at Le Magasin is a case in point. Having passed through the École du Louvre before studying with Jean-Luc Vilmouth at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and, through an exchange program, at the Royal College of Art in London, Cornaro

  • “Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions Of Arcadia”

    The largest paintings Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne ever made—Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897–98, and The Large Bathers, 1906, respectively—will be shown side by side in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Visions of Arcadia.”

    The largest paintings Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne ever made—Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897–98, and The Large Bathers, 1906, respectively—will be shown side by side in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Visions of Arcadia.” If this were not reason enough to visit the show, then the presence of Henri Matisse’s equally monumental Bathers by a River, 1909–17, should make the excursion a mandatory one. These three giant works by three giants of modern art will be joined by thirty-seven other pieces (mostly paintings) made during

  • diary January 30, 2012

    24 Hour Parody People

    AT 8:30 PM LAST TUESDAY, I arrived at the invitation-only dinner for the 24 h Museum behind two good-looking fellows who also had forgotten their invites and thus had to wait outside for the keeper of the guest list. There was something nice—can we call this consolation?—in knowing that for at least a brief moment an art critic was on equal footing with twins Alexandre and Victor Carril, Paris’s latest enfants terribles. Their attendance was not surprising. During the recent men’s fashion week in Milan, the brothers had walked the catwalk for Prada alongside other actors in a show the fashion

  • Gerhard Richter

    The introduction of digital processes into the practice of painting inevitably raises questions. Has the Very New irrevocably transformed and indeed usurped the Very Old? Or is the celebratory hype surrounding new media simply the latest installment of the technological triumphalism that has periodically punctuated the history of modern art ever since the invention of photography?

    The five large digital prints that make up Gerhard Richter’s series “Strip,” 2011, inserted themselves directly into this debate. The works were intense. Consisting entirely of horizontal bands of vibrant color under


    IT IS NO COINCIDENCE that the person who makes R. H. Quaytman’s panels was formerly a collaborator of Donald Judd’s. The fastidious construction, the often dazzling optics, the play between transparency and opacity: Quaytman’s painting and the Minimalist object share much. Most of all, perhaps, they share a systematic logic in which every detail, from individual paintings and installations to their publication and distribution, is subject to careful control. And it is this relentless drive that makes one wonder about the development of this system—its contours, whence it came, and how it continues

  • Virgil Marti

    In the latest installment of the Philadelphia ICA’s guest curator program, locally based artist Virgil Marti has done a rare thing. He has put together an exhibition composed almost entirely of museum-quality historical objects within the walls of a kunsthalle much more accustomed to dealing with work by living artists. That this project was even allowed to take place says something about the close bonds between Marti, ICA curator Ingrid Schaffner, and Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Joseph Rishel. Such largesse has enabled the artist to construct strange theatrical tableaus, or “set pieces,”

  • Jean Dupuy

    The French artist Jean Dupuy is best known for a strange piece—part heart monitor, part sculpture—called Heart Beats Dust, 1968, which was exhibited that year in Pontus Hultén’s “The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The work consisted of a wooden box in which a cone of infrared light illuminated a pile of dust that pulsed to the rhythms of the viewer’s heartbeat. A stethoscope registered the body’s sound and then amplified it to a degree that allowed a person’s subconscious energies to take visual form. For this Dupuy won a

  • R. H. Quaytman

    TWO SILK-SCREEN PAINTINGS, which recently hung together in a corner at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, could stand as an emblem for the painting practice of New York–based artist R. H. Quaytman. Both show the same archival photograph of a 1966 ICA exhibition, “Art for U.S. Embassies.” Across the upper half of each, another photograph is overlaid, of a white wall on whose left side hangs an Op-art chevron painting, Terri Priest’s Organic Interaction #107, 1965, which was on view in the original exhibition. So an image of an abstract painting sits on a monochromatic picture plane that sits

  • film March 04, 2010

    Barnes and Noblesse

    THE ART OF THE STEAL wants you to think that a secret cabal of greedy politicians, social-climbing university trustees, and not-so-charitable charities hoodwinked the public into accepting the move of Dr. Albert Barnes’s world-class collection of modern art from Merion, Pennsylvania, to its new home in downtown Philadelphia.

    About twenty minutes into The Art of the Steal, Julian Bond, then chairman of the NAACP board and one of several luminaries interviewed for the movie, states its recurring leitmotif: that Barnes wanted his collection to be a place where the common man could have epiphanies

  • “Cézanne and Beyond”

    The sumptuous “Cézanne and Beyond” was that rare thing: a blockbuster show of modern painting that looks forward, not backward. In a climate where shows of the formula “Artist X and the Old Masters” have increasingly become the safe choice for museums, we must applaud curators Joseph J. Rishel and Katherine Sachs for resisting the art historian’s natural instinct to think retrospectively. Indeed, their effort to trace an artist’s bequest to future generations is very much like adjudicating a fraught inheritance: Any major legacy is bound to be contested by its presumptive heirs.

    To the organizers’


    THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE that May 1968 was not, in fact, the turning point that so many think it was. Indeed, there are those who believe that it was only in May ’68 that the effects of actions that had taken place years before finally became visible and then impossible to ignore—even for those whose eyes were perhaps not so subtle. In 1967, when tremors of the impending upheaval were already being felt, poet Francis Ponge provided a kind of organizing metaphor for this belief. Speaking with the critic Philippe Sollers in an interview broadcast on France Culture, Ponge disclosed his

  • Vito Acconci

    Exhibitions of performance artists’ work are often exercises in frustration. Forever deprived of the original event, one must settle for photographs, videos, and other forms of documentation that struggle to fill the void left behind by the missing work. Presenting architectural projects in a museum or gallery setting is equally problematic, plans and models becoming the focus. The unique challenge confronting curators Christine Poggi and Meredith Malone in “Power Fields: Explorations in the Work of Vito Acconci” at the Slought Foundation was how to represent Acconci’s performative and architectural