Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021
News Every Day |

It Matters Where You See the Art

John Moore, Departure, 2021(oil on linen). Courtesy Locks Gallery and the artist.

Since art venues started re-opening, I've realized yet again that the experience of art is not one of isolated objects, but of objects (or concepts, performances, installations) in situations. The venue’s more than a frame; it directs the experience in 1000ways, including helping to create the mood with which viewersapproach, and hence how they experience what they experience. Through what sort of built environment do you pass to get to the work? What's the social situation? Do you feel crowded or hurried, or are you aware of other people being aware of how you're experiencing the art? Is it hushed, or buzzing? Are you exhausted by the time you're done, or possibly refreshed? And the time-honored question: How's it hanging?

The year or two of “virtual openings” and online exhibitions flattened everything into a screen. All the art became the same size. You weren't liable to overhear snatches of conversation about the work, politics, or what to have for dinner. If you're lucky you might unmute and participate for a few moments. I’d started to lose interest in the visual arts at a certain point: they and I need to share a physical space, or I hadn't seen the work at all.

I went to the Armory Show in September: hundreds of gallery booths laid out in the Javits Center in Manhattan. Speaking of buzzing, masked gallerists and buyers milled about among the extremely varied art from all over the world. A lot of people were buying; Steve Martin, for example, was strolling about, with a predatory if good-humored look in the eyes above the mask. I was, I’ll admit, overwhelmed, delighted and relieved: I hadn't even realized how bad I'd been jonesing. In some ways, I like a fair better than a museum: there's less hush and reverence: people are playing with the idea of owning or living with the objects, negotiating prices, strolling about munching croissants or sipping a plastic cup of champagne.

In October, I got to the half of the vast Jasper Johns blockbuster that's at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the other half is at the Whitney). Over the last few years, the PMA’s been reconceived and rebuilt according to a design by Frank Gehry. There's a lot to be said for the redesign, which respects the original architecture and creates huge neutral spaces out of pale sandstone. Nevertheless, so far, through a number of visits, it leaves me cold; it makes what was a paradoxically intimate mega-museum filled with small galleries into something grander and quieter, as the sound gets lost and echoes into the huge vaulted ceilings and down the stone halls. I think the new entrances, open as they are, aren’t inviting (the process is only half-completed, however).

But the split Johns show was beautifully hung, with hundreds of objects. I remember feeling impressed and delighted by the targets, the numerals, the flags. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I expected: no line, though a set of rooms pretty full of people and large art, or series of smaller works that covered huge walls. We gave it a couple of hours, but I was quickly overwhelmed by the visual information and repetition. The only work I'm directly remembering from a month ago (as opposed to recalling from images seen over decades) is Johns' famous little cast in bronze of Ballantine beer bottles.

The best and most intense experience I've had since face-to-face encounters with art returned, however, was Saturday at an astonishing pair of exhibitions at the Locks Gallery, located in an old bank building on Washington Square in Old City Philadelphia. The first floor features recent paintings by the realist master John Moore, the second a single installation by the fundamental and elusive conceptualist painter Jennifer Bartlett. Each of these artists, in the course of long careers, has developed a distinctive and fundamental visual vocabulary.

It's hard to imagine two bodies of painting more opposite to one another: Moore's a painstaking and ravishingly beautiful celebration of the human and natural world, Bartlett's an exuberant, sophisticated and systematic investigation of the grounds of human visual experience. They both benefit by being simultaneously juxtaposed in the same relatively small building and separated on different floors.

Locks doesn't make a point of it in the gallery or the website, but Moore and Bartlett were both born in 1941. They both got their MFAs at Yale in the 1960s, though Bartlett was there before Moore. They appear to be complete opposites as painters in all possible ways, as I say. Moore paints traditional easel paintings; Bartlett creates installations on her distinctive steel panels. Moore’s a ravishing and precise realist, celebrating industrial spaces or bodies of water or clouds and bathing them in light, as close as we've got to a contemporary Vermeer; Bartlett is by turns an abstractionist and expressionist, and all in the service of a sophisticated philosophical program. But given their common origins and the fact that they're stacked on two floors of the same gallery, it's hard not to feel affinities as well.

I’ve seen a lot of Bartlett over the years in museums, and didn't quite follow the thread. One might walk down a hallway at a museum somewhere covered in colorful dots or squiggles, separated into little panels. Perhaps I judged her as a mildly interesting late abstractionist. But there was also a lot of figuration, often called "neo-expressionist" to connect it with its period in the 1980s, but hard to interpret emotionally, especially on the background of the Sol-Lewitt style conceptual systems or self-instructions, the John-Cage like procedures for generating content without intention. I wasn't really following along, and there has rarely been a more apparently eclectic or even conflicted visual practice.

I was the only person on the second floor of Locks on Saturday for half an hour, surrounded by Bartlett's installation of abstract paintings, or single multi-panel work, "Recitative," described as consisting of "enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates." The neutral space of the gallery, empty but for concrete pillars, not particularly adapted to the work but appropriate to it, was stunningly rearticulated, as though the walls echoed through the space. It's possible to be annoyed by the endless dots, as by Damien Hirst's dot paintings, for example. But Bartlett's dots work on many different levels: each a hand-painted artifact of the gestural moment that’s swept up into a grid-like system, and each above all taking up a part in an unfolding investigation of color.

I spent time trying to "decode" some of Bartlett's color grids, or to uncover the underlying system. For a bit they seemed like SAT questions: what color comes next in this sequence? They have the quality of Sudoku. But what’s really intriguing about these systems is that there may be no single solution: I kept trying to work it out but she kept surprising me. I concluded finally that they intentionally almost work out into a system, that they retain an ineradicable element of randomness, or incorporate that too, into some sort of atomistic cosmology. I started thinking about Bartlett as a kind of Spinoza. But then I just stood in the middle of the room surrounded by all that blooming color and felt like dancing.

It may be that "Recitative," which was accomplished in 2009-10, will be remembered as one of Bartlett's last major works. She's alive, but in ill health. But it may also be remembered as one of the best ways into understanding what Bartlett was trying to do throughout her rich career.

I can imagine Bartlett as a star at Yale in the 1960s, but it's a little harder to picture how Moore—who, I'm told, was painting restrained still life at the time—was received. Perhaps the painterly precision was itself taken conceptually or ironically, as though it was the latest iteration of pop. Or perhaps Moore was regarded as a (hopefully, charming) anachronism. But he's kept up a consistent realist practice ever since, favoring, for example, abandoned warehouse spaces near Belfast, Maine, where he lives. Consistently, as in "Departure," the 4' by 6' masterpiece that’s centralized at Locks, he finds abstract motifs amidst real objects: the peeling paint becomes a series of Clyfford Stills, the cloudy glass a grid of lines not unlike some of Bartlett's apparently expressionist abstractions.

In the recent work represented here, however, Moore goes ever-further into a direct celebration of the real world, showing himself to be a virtuoso of water, glass, and above all light. These are the traditional themes of the great Dutch painters of the 17th century: Vermeer, but also specialists such as Kalf. Moore continues this history into the present, or into nostalgia in the present for the relatively recent past. It’s a seemingly perverse exercise that could itself be fitted into postmodern models of repetition and appropriation. But it’s also yielding beautiful paintings right now.

That there are conceptual underpinnings to Moore's work as well is obvious once you look at a lot of it for a while. It always flirts with being beautiful tourist art for galleries in Maine but completely resists that reading on reflection. Moore favors placing the main compositional motif dead-center, as in the small painting "Float" of this year, which isolates a buoy against a passage of water in a way that makes it loom like a figure in a de Chirico abstraction. Every painting in this show is infinitely absorbing. I didn't get enough time, but I got a lot of time.

—Jennifer Bartlett's "Recitative" is up at Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Square South in Philly until November 27, John Moore's "Here and There" until December 23.

—Follow Crispin Sartwell on Twitter



Read also

Why nurturing these popular houseplants provide added benefits to gardeners

Boris Johnson press conference: What time is the PM’s speech today, November 27?

Expert: News about New Variant “Omicron” are Concerning, but This is Not the End of the World

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Stacey Solomon reveals hair transformation on date night after accidentally dying her eyebrows RED

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Global Plant-based Meat Market to Offer Increased Growth Prospects for Manufacturers

Sports today

Новости тенниса
Анастасия Павлюченкова

Павлюченкова: у России огромные шансы на победу в Кубке Дэвиса

Спорт в России и мире

Путин передал приветствие участникам чемпионата Европы по дзюдо среди смешанных команд


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today

Путин передал приветствие участникам чемпионата Европы по дзюдо среди смешанных команд

Новости России

Game News

Best Elgato Black Friday Deals for gamers and streamers


Владимир Спиваков

Стали известны результаты I тура III Международного конкурса скрипачей Владимира Спивакова

Губернаторы России
Евгений Стычкин

Летающая рыбка, трехмерный Иван Макаревич и мексиканская экзотика: 5 интересных фактов о съемках сериала «Вне себя» с Евгением Стычкиным, Еленой Лядовой и Евгением Цыгановым

Умерший в 16 лет хоккеист «Динамо» Родионов в этом году потерял мать

«У нее был один только муж»: дочь Нины Руслановой не признала второго супруга актрисы

Собянин указал на адаптацию экономики Москвы к пандемии коронавируса

Audi e-tron Sportback – второй полностью электрический SUV*

Пострадавшая при пожаре певица Марина Хлебникова вышла из комы

Стали известны результаты I тура III Международного конкурса скрипачей Владимира Спивакова

Певица Маша Распутина пригрозила дочери выселением за съемки в ток-шоу

Певица Катя Лель ответила на открытое письмо врачей звездам-антипрививочникам

Медведев обеспечил России победу над Эквадором в Кубке Дэвиса

Медведев принес России победу над Эквадором в матче Кубка Дэвиса

Медведев принес России победу в матче Кубка Дэвиса против эквадорцев

WTA представила кандидаток на победу в номинации "Лучшая теннисистка года"

Лукашенко сообщил о заключительном этапе работы над Конституцией Белоруссии

Обновленный список коронавирусных ограничений в России

Благоустройство берега Большой Невки

Пресс-релиз совещания по деятельности Центров опережающей профессиональной подготовки с представителями региональных органов исполнительной власти по итогам года.

Политолог Стариков: канцлер ФРГ Шольц будет защищать находящуюся под гнетом США Германию

Американист Дробницкий счел значительными для США поездки местных чиновников в Россию

В НАТО указали на "не просто блеф" со стороны России

Защитник юниорской сборной РФ по хоккею Родионов умер в возрасте 16 лет

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Анастасия Волочкова

Вам лучше одеться! Фанаты раскритиковали фото Анастасии Волочковой в боди

News Every Day

Global Plant-based Meat Market to Offer Increased Growth Prospects for Manufacturers

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев

Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV