Read All Over: At Sikkema Jenkins, Mark Bradford’s Medium Is the Message; at Salon 94 Bowery, Jules de Balincourt Is Out at Sea

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Jule de Balincourt, Pangea 2012, 2012

The two best painting shows in New York right now, the superb “Picasso Black and White” at the Guggenheim and the convert-making “Wade Guyton OS” at the Whitney are exemplary of distinct conceptions of painting—there’s the inexhaustibly inventive, emotionally charged Modernist, all eros and thanatos, and, a bit further downtown, appropriately, the cool, cunning techno-formalist, launching surprise attacks on painting’s past.

But both shows are distinctly grayscale affairs, and as such are likely to put you in a mood for color. Luckily, sprawling canvases by two ace mid-career colorists, Jules de Balincourt and Mark Bradford, appeared in galleries this past weekend, just before Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Read More


Minime-alism: Sheila Hicks at Sikkema Jenkins and Chuck Webster at Zieher-Smith

Installation view of Sheila Hicks's show at Sikkema Jenkins. (Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins)

The sizable Sheila Hicks exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins assembles pieces from throughout her long and successful career, but is not a retrospective. The bulk of the show is given over to what Ms. Hicks does best and is best known for, the letter-sized, wall-mounted tapestries she calls minimes; and these, not only because of their astonishing formal consistency over more than five decades, but also by the very nature of their construction, preempt any progressive, linear view of her work. Read More


Josephine Halvorson’s Radical Realism

Josephine Halvorson, "Generator," 2011, oil on linen, 34 x 28 inches. (Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.)

Josephine Halvorson makes small artworks that have a huge impact. Why do viewers stop dead in their tracks in front of her pieces—humble oil paintings that are descriptive close-ups of such unlikely subjects as a machine valve, crumbs in a cake pan or the blocked window of a salt-water taffy shack—and then linger there?

To some, this reaction might seem puzzling, because—although Ms. Halvorson, 30, at times resists the label—her work is realistic, at the very least in the sense that she sets up her easel in front of real things in the physical world and paints what she sees. A new exhibition, her second solo show at Chelsea gallery Sikkema Jenkins, opened last Friday. Read More