Phyllis Tuchman

  • Melissa Kretschmer, Green Sleeve, 2016, vellum, gesso, gouache, beeswax, plywood, 84 × 27 × 2". From “Painting After Postmodernism: Belgium–USA.”

    “Painting After Postmodernism: Belgium–USA”

    “Painting After Postmodernism: Belgium–USA” was a refreshing antidote to the hustle and bustle of the current art scene; none of the eight Americans and eight Belgians in the show, curated by art historian and critic Barbara Rose, was among the usual suspects. More than 250 paintings were installed at two locations. Most were on display at the Vanderborght, a six-story International Style building from the 1930s. Natural light from a glass-enclosed atrium in the center of the former department store enhanced the pleasure of viewing art that was often colorful, with textured surfaces and bold,

  • Robert Grosvenor

    At the Renaissance Society, veteran sculptor Robert Grosvenor will show a large, makeshift work from 1989–90. Made from banal materials—stacked concrete blocks, Plexiglas, and painted steel—the austere Untitled has a pronounced interior volume, a space that, because of its low top, cannot be entered. Appreciate this ungainly work from a distance or else feel thwarted because it cannot be breached. Visitors to Grosvenor’s shows never know whether they are going to find something graceful, massive, off-putting, or witty; a sculpture hung from the ceiling,

  • Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #368, 1982/2016, color inks and india ink, dimensions variable. Installation view. Photo: Steven Probert. © Estate of Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Sol LeWitt

    Over a multifaceted career that spanned more than five decades, Sol LeWitt executed hundreds of wall drawings, scores of sculptures, and countless drawings, prints, photographs, and books. An exhibition on view at Paula Cooper Gallery’s multiple locations in Chelsea showcased LeWitt’s amazing range—and, by including work by Liz Deschenes, reminded us of his generosity toward younger colleagues. (A concurrent presentation at Miguel Abreu Gallery also paired LeWitt’s work with Deschenes’s.) His art was variously sumptuous, obsessive, inventive, gentle. Ever since LeWitt died in 2007 at the

  • Charles Ross, Solar Burn 1/29/77, 1977, paint on burned wood, 14 1/4 × 16 1/4". From “Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971.”

    “Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971”

    Virginia Dwan is the stuff of legends: prescient dealer, visionary collector, generous benefactor. She’s Leo Castelli, Count Panza, and Andrew Mellon rolled into one. Featuring some hundred paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs, the National Gallery of Art will highlight the art that Dwan, still a tall beauty at eighty-five, has donated or promised to the museum. Other institutions, including MoMA, LACMA, and the Pompidou, are lending additional works shown at her galleries in LA and New York. From 1959 to 1967, her SoCal space hosted American abstractionists

  • Alfred Leslie, Four Panel Green—Big Green, 1956–57, oil on canvas, 12' × 13' 10".

    Alfred Leslie

    During the early 1950s, many considered the abstract painters Alfred Leslie and Harry Jackson to be the heirs apparent to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, though the famous pair’s close friends and colleagues Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, and Joan Mitchell were regarded highly, too. As it was, Hartigan was included in the landmark 1958 show “The New American Painting” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. And Frankenthaler enjoyed a midcareer survey at the Jewish Museum in 1960. But Leslie too earned a plum assignment. He participated in MoMA’s “Sixteen Americans,” which, by

  • Gordon Matta-Clark, Untitled (Energy Rooms), 1974, ink and marker on paper, 7 7/8 × 11".

    Gordon Matta-Clark

    Gordon Matta-Clark was as accomplished at making drawings with pencils, pens, markers, and crayons as he was at cutting into abandoned warehouses, suburban homes, and dilapidated tenement buildings with a chain saw. And these drawings offer a variety of insights into the American-born artist’s attitudes about nature, movement, and geometry; the themes that interested him; and the times in which he lived. Several dozen works on paper executed between 1969 and 1977, the year before Matta-Clark died of cancer at the age of thirty-five, were recently on view at David Zwirner.

    It’s surprising to

  • Malcolm Morley, Aircraft on a Yellow Plane, 2014, oil on linen, 50 × 40".

    Malcolm Morley

    The fifteen paintings in Malcolm Morley’s latest show at Sperone Westwater, like all of his finest works, snap, crackle, and pop. In this instance, the British-born, American-based artist activates these sensations from a mix of bold, vivid colors, rambunctious compositions, and themes that refer to aerial dogfights during World War II, cannon fire during the Battle of Waterloo, medieval warfare, and even Viking exploration. All told, Morley, at age eighty-four, has become one of our preeminent history painters.

    Though he had a brief period when he painted abstract pictures—they were in his

  • View of “Alexander Calder,” 2015. From left: Red T with Black Flags, 1946; Untitled, ca. 1956; Untitled, 1941.
Photo: Tom Powel.

    Alexander Calder

    Once Alexander Calder’s sculptures began to be sited in Boston; Paris; Spoleto, Italy; Mexico City; and other global destinations, it was apparent that this versatile artist had a knack for thinking big. Now, based on an exhibition at Dominique Lévy, it’s equally clear that, throughout his long, distinguished career, he also had a gift for making small-size stabiles, mobiles, and maquettes.

    Whether his sculptures are only two inches high or just five inches wide, they all have the hallmarks of work by Alexander Calder. You’ll find whimsical biomorphic forms; a palette reduced mostly to red,

  • Walter Darby Bannard, Marriage #3, 1961, alkyd resin on canvas, 66 3/4 × 62 3/4".

    Walter Darby Bannard

    Walter Darby Bannard made a big splash with the abstractions he painted following his graduation from Princeton University in 1956. In the mid-1960s, his work, which featured, in Bannard’s own words, “plain, simple, symmetrical in-your-face color,” was included in historically important group exhibitions such as “Post-Painterly Abstraction” (1964), and “The Responsive Eye” (1965), organized, respectively, by critic Clement Greenberg and curator William C. Seitz.

    A dozen or so canvases from 1958 to 1965 that were on view recently at Berry Campbell made it clear why Bannard, who is now eighty, was

  • Marisol, Mi mamá y yo (My Mother and I), 1968, steel, aluminum, 73 × 56 × 56".


    Marisol Escobar’s long-overdue retrospective, which remains on view until January 10, does not disappoint. With figurative sculpture once again popular in the art world, the seventeen sculptures and fourteen works on paper on view at El Museo del Barrio look fresher than ever. The spare, elegant installation further enhances the Marina Pacini–curated survey devoted to the artist’s fifty-plus-year career. Practically from the get-go (see Tea for Three, 1960), Marisol, as she is known, has melded representational sculpture with elements of abstract painting and exquisite draftsmanship, not to

  • View of “Donald Judd,” 2012.

    Donald Judd

    Although works on paper were included in Donald Judd’s midcareer surveys at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1968 and the Pasadena Art Museum in 1971, the artist’s drawings for various Wall Units, Floor Boxes, Stacks, and Progressions have remained largely under the radar for the four decades since then. With pencil or ink, Judd executed spare, lean schematics on paper of various sizes as preparation for his three-dimensional works. In terms of skill, these sheets occupy a middle ground that’s neither virtuosic nor amateurish. Their most idiosyncratic quality is that many were made on yellow

  • “Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910–1912”

    Almost two dozen years after “Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism” wowed visitors at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and California’s Santa Barbara Museum of Art have come together to mount “Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910–1912.” With this show, the two institutions couldn’t have hatched a cheekier project. Just consider the metrics. moma’s extravaganza featured nearly 400 oil paintings, collages, papiers collés, ink drawings, and sculptures executed between 1907 and 1914, with masterpieces borrowed from points around the globe,