Category: Painting

Photo Diary: In Wonderland, surrealist women at LACMA.

Las dos Fridas, 1939, by Frida Kahlo.

Rainy Day Canape, 1970, by Dorothea Tanning.

I Have No Shadow, 1940, by Kay Sage.

LACMA has a beguilingly weird show of surrealist artists up: In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women in Mexico and the United States tracks surreal art in North America during the middle years of the 20th century. There’s some freaky dark stuff in the show (including a picture by Lee Miller that show mastectomied breasts on a plate). But it also has its charmingly bizarre parts (love the Tanning stuffed couch piece above). And it includes little-known works by well-known artists. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.

In Wonderland is up through May 6th.

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Miscellany. 03.12.12.

A detail from Untitled, 1979, by Gustavo Montoya. Part of the permanent collection at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East L.A. College. (Photo by C-M.)

Calendar. 02.22.12.

memorydoubled, 2012, by Franklin Evans. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit Eyes on the Edge, at Sue Scott Gallery. Opens Friday, at 6pm, on the Lower East Side. (Image courtesy of the artist and Sue Scott Gallery.)

**In the event that you’re looking for a Kickstarter project to support: sculptor Leon Reid IV is teaming up with documentary film producer Julia Marchesi to create a lending-library sculpture in Cobble Hill. Check it!

Calendar. 11.17.11.

The Ultimate Painting, 1966. Photo documentation of a collaborative work between Clark Richert, Richard Kallweit, JoAnn Bernofsky, Gene Bernofsky and Charles DiJulio. On view in the exhibit West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. This show looks all kinds of bad-ass. Through February 19. (Image courtesy of the artists and MCA Denver.)

Photo Diary: de Kooning: a Retrospective, at MoMA — the black and whites.

Painting, 1948, by Willem de Kooning. (Photos by C-M.)

As I’m sure you’ve well read by now, the Willem de Kooning retrospective at MoMA is all kinds of gangbusters. I’m not going to get into some dissertation about what he and his work signified, because I think there have been plenty of those — among them, the comprehensive 500-page catalogue. But I did want to highlight one of the aspects of the show I really dug: the black and white paintings from the late 1940s — mainly because I’m a sucker for black and white, but also because they seem to revel in a certain gritty New York City-ness (that seems to no longer exist). They also look like a type of proto-graffiti, what Jed Perl describes in New Art City in the following way: “De Kooning’s nitty-gritty New York was all knock-you-in-the-teeth actualities, all surprising particulars: the dramatically contrasted sizes of adjacent buildings, the abandoned lots and demolition sites, the oil stains and graffiti on the pavements, the reflections of neon signs on wet streets.”

This is also an opportunity to pimp my podcasts on New York City in the time of the Abstract Expressionists. Many more pictures after the jump.

de Kooning: A Retrospective is on view through January 9 at the Museum of Modern Art.

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Flying High.

I have an interview over at WNYC with art critic Ken Johnson about his new book, Are You Experienced? which chronicles the influence of 1960s drug culture on the last half century’s worth of art. Also included: tips on the best New York museum to be stoned in. (Image of the painting Rabbit, by Judith Linhares,  featured in the book, comes courtesy of Prestel.)

This Friday, in East L.A.: The Vincent Price Art Museum reopens.

The Vincent Price Art Museum at East L.A. College is opening the doors to its brand new building and it looks like it’s going to be all kinds of boss. In fact, it’s making me wish I wasn’t going to be out of town — because the inaugural shows appear to be all kinds of fantastic, including one on the roots of Mexican modernism and another featuring eight high-profile alums (including figures such as Kent Twitchell, Gronk, John Valadez and Diane Gamboa — who painted the above piece, Consensual Behavior, in 2003). Things get rolling this Friday, May 20, at noon. If you live in L.A., seems like a must-do.