Peter Plagens

Safe and Sound: Peter Plagens on Neal Benezra


May 2002

The first thing you need to know about the wonderful world of art museums is that everything that happens in them or with them or to them is not only always perfectly normal but also going exactly according to plan. (God forbid anybody … READ ON

IN PRINT May 2002 [TOC]

Peter Plagens on John Baldessari


January 2002

Peter Plagens looks back on John Baldessari's first one-man shows in Los Angeles (Molly Barnes) and New York (Feigen) in 1968  JOHN BALDESSARI—“the world's tallest leprechaun,” as denizens of an earlier LA art world used to call him affectionately… READ ON

IN PRINT February 2002 [TOC]

Alex Katz

December 2001

Does a painting by Alex Katz have an inner life? Silly question, you say: Of course it does. Any image by a bona fide modern artist has an inner life, and Katz’s credentials on that score are impeccable. The Brooklyn-born, seventy-four-year-old… READ ON

IN PRINT December 2001 [TOC]

Alfred Jensen: Concordance

September 2001

Who was Alfred Jensen (1903–81)? A geometric abstractionist, you say? But his trademark grids of tiny, brightly colored triangles and squares are so heavily impastoed that, from ten feet away, the geometry wiggles like a desert horizon. An … READ ON


Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside

September 2001

We’ve always suspected that Roy Lichtenstein was more than just a Pop artist. Isn’t all that “It’s . . . It’s Not an Engagement Ring, Is It?” banality only a cover for the weird shapes you get with blowups of undifferentiated front teeth, or… READ ON




September 2001

YOU CAN JUST HEAR 'EM at the story meeting: “Look, what we want to do here is demystify these artists. We gotta make them regular, friendly folks. None of this wrestling with art-historical forebears crap, none of that B.S. theory. And above… READ ON

IN PRINT September 2001 [TOC]

the Mori Art Museum


June 2001

COME OCTOBER, THE SWEDES take over the Japanese capital with a two-week cultural festival dubbed “Swedish Style in Tokyo.” Over in the Roppongi district, the Mori Arts Center Project Space will honor the event in an area called the “New Tokyo… READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2001 [TOC]

Frank Gehry, Architect

May 2001

Frank Gehry, as we all know, is the guy who designed the absolutely fantabufuckingamazabulous Guggenheim Bilbao. The Gugg Bilbao, as we all know, is the fantabufuckingamazabulous melty building that instantly buried the pomo mall pastiche … READ ON


Clyfford Still: Paintings, 1944–1960

May 2001

Nobody, but nobody, could cop attitude like Clyfford Still (1904–80): “I held it imperative to evolve an instrument of thought which would aid in cutting through all cultural opiates, past and present, so that a direct, immediate, and truly… READ ON


H.C. Westermann

May 2001

H.C. (“Cliff”) Westermann had everything a real artist needs: a taste of the dark side (as a marine in World War II and Korea), technical skills (carpentry, woodcarving, stone masonry), art-historical grounding (Surrealism), and an engaging,… READ ON