Poems in the shape of paintings

With a history of cultural iconoclasm, the Arab region has become a fertile ground for abstract art. Yet Arab artists remain marginal in the global conversation of modern abstraction. An ambitious project initiated by the Barjeel Art Foundation seeks to issue a long overdue corrective. Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s, slated to… Continue reading Poems in the shape of paintings

122 Rue du temple, 1968

122 Rue du temple, 1968 Jacques Villeglé torn-and-pasted printed paper on canvas 62 5/8 x 82 3/4" (159.2 x 210.3 cm) Museum of Modern Art  The words of French crime novelist Leo Malet comes to mind every time I encounter a work by Jacques Villegle: “The collage of the future will be done without scissors,… Continue reading 122 Rue du temple, 1968

Throw Away Day

A new documentary on the life and work of abstract expressionism's invisible man, Clyfford Still and the quest to reclaim one of his paintings in an auction at the Sotheby's Contemporary Evening Sale A few minutes after four and the day slipped into darkness, signalling stagehands at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale to finalize… Continue reading Throw Away Day

Defacement painting as memorial

The Guggenheim exhibition has achieved for Basquiat's Defacement (1983) a level of relevance achieved by few paintings: a memorial to violence with potency to comment on our current social crisis. Jean-Michel Basquiat – Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983. Photograph: Allison Chipak/Collection of Nina Clemente, New York Picasso’s Guernica and Goya’s Third of May… Continue reading Defacement painting as memorial

Borlonganesque

Elmer Borlongan’s Extraordinary Eye for the Ordinary Elmer Borlongan’s mid-career retrospective held on his 50th birthday at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila establishes him as the essential post-EDSA artist: an artist painting in the veristic sociocritical vein of the 90s, but who, with the downfall of the Marcoses, finds himself with no one to rebel… Continue reading Borlonganesque

Constancio Bernardo in Context

How was an artist like Constancio Bernardo drawn into the relatively new language of abstract painting? In mentioning his influences, what are their particular contributions to his work? The history of Philippine painting runs like a list of forgotten geniuses whose contributions have largely been under-appreciated due to a dearth in scholarship. Such is the… Continue reading Constancio Bernardo in Context

Laura Owens at the Whitney Museum

There are manifold levels in the work of the American artist Laura Owens. For more than twenty years, the 47-year-old has been experimenting with the genre of painting, always with a claim to explore what is visually and creatively possible, to transcend the boundaries of the known, both in form and in content. Laura Owens… Continue reading Laura Owens at the Whitney Museum