Paul Galvez

  • André Derain, Big Ben, ca. 1906, oil on canvas, 31 1/8 × 38 5/8".


    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

  • Julije Knifer, TU-L, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 29 3/4 × 41 3/4". From “The Gorgona Group.”


    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

  • View of “Blake Rayne,” 2016–17. Foreground: A Line, 2013. Background, from left: Untitled, 2010; Untitled, 2010. Photo: Peter Molick.

    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

  • View of “Isabelle Cornaro,” 2013, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. Three works from the series “Homonymes I,” 2010/2012.


    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

  • Atomic bomb test explosion, Nevada Proving Grounds, ca. 1952. Photo: Harold Edgerton/MIT Museum.


    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,

  • Jonathan Binet, Dancefloor (details), 2012, acrylic, spray paint, tape, canvas, wood, dance poles, engraved walls. Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole.


    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

  • Lucile Desamory, ABRACADABRA, 2012, digital photograph. In collaboration with Lucy McKenzie.

    “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, Paysage avec poussin et témoins oculaires (version V) (Landscape with Poussin and Eyewitnesses [version V]), 2012, wood, concrete, found objects. Installation view.

    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

  • Paul Cézanne, The Large Bathers,1900-1906,  oil on canvas, 82 7/8 x 98 3/4"

    “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

  • Left: Artist Francesco Vezzoli with Kate Moss. Right: Alexandre and Victor Carril. (All photos courtesy of Prada)
    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

  • View of “Gerhard Richter,” 2011. Wall, from left: STRIP, 2011; STRIP, 2011; STRIP, 2011. Foreground: 6 Standing Glass Panes, 2002/2011.

    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