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Cindy Jackson’s Bevy of Boisterous Bodies

By Gordon Fuglie Essay

CONTEMPORARY FIGURATIVE ART may owe more to the golden age of comic books than many art watchers are prepared to admit. Beyond the ironic appropriation of comics by late art-world A-lister Roy Lichtenstein or au courant nihilistic punkster Raymond Pettibon, illustrated narrative has a much longer pedigree. Earlier in the twentieth century, the angular and…

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Still Mending: South Africa between the Shadow and the Light

By Rachel Hostetter Smith Essay

NEXT TO THE ENTRANCE to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the chief justices meet to uphold what has been called the “most progressive” of constitutions, stands a bronze sculpture by Dumile Feni, a South African of Xhosa descent. It is based on a smaller clay work made in 1987, at the height…

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Gathering the Light: Sean Scully’s Montserrat Chapel

By Paul Anel Essay

THE FIRST TIME SEAN SCULLY told me about his commission for a chapel on the grounds of the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, in Spain, it was in a restaurant in Chelsea, in New York City, in November of 2010. Digging into his side pocket, he found a pen and started drawing on the paper tablecloth: the…

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Presence in a Space: The Flickering Contradictions of Martin Puryear

By Karen L. Mulder Essay

IN 1997, THE ST. JAMES GUIDE TO BLACK ARTISTS called sculptor Martin Puryear a quiet revolutionary engrossed in the business of eroding art-world oppositions. “I would describe my usual working process as a kind of distillation—trying to make coherence out of things that can seem contradictory,” he says. “But coherence is not the same as resolution.…

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The Empty Bed: Tracey Emin and the Persistent Self

By Morgan Meis Essay

THIS ALL HAPPENED IN 1998. A youngish woman, an artist, was at home in her council flat in the Waterloo neighborhood of central London. Council flats, you should know, are basically a British version of public housing. The woman’s name was Tracey Emin. She was having a lousy week. A relationship had gone sour. More…

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Ecstatic Dislocation: The Art of Sedrick Huckaby

By Joe Milazzo Essay

IN 2016, SAINT PATRICK’S DAY falls on a Thursday, bringing with it an early weekend. In the aftermath of apocalyptic north-central Texas thunderstorms, a sultry heat settles on the quiet residential street in Fort Worth where artist Sedrick Huckaby is hard at work preparing for his next exhibition. Huckaby is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker…

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System and Chaos: The Art of Linnéa Spransy

By Brian Volck Essay

I am interested in limits, specifically, in their ability to generate surprise, even freedom. —Linnéa Spransy The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. —Wendell Berry   THE CANVASAS IN LINNÉA SPRANSY’S studio explode with images rich and strange: ribbons and lobes reproducing like bacteria in…

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The Mosque Outside the Mosque: Aerosol Arabic and the One Experience

By George Dardess Essay

The Performance MOHAMMED ALI, a.k.a. Aerosol Arabic, emerges from the darkness onto center stage for his 2014 TED talk at the Vatican (available for streaming at aerosolarabic.com). A burly man, he moves gracefully. He apologizes for the way he’s dressed—not in the snappy outfit of a celebrity lecturer, but in jeans, sneakers, open shirt, and…

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A Painter’s Thoughts on the State of Painting

By Catherine Prescott Essay

Painters Frame Contemporary Painting Painting has died and been resurrected several times in recent decades. Challenged by theory-laden conversations about art’s “post-medium” condition and a welter of deconstructionist propositions, painting seems nevertheless to have thrived in the face of adversity. Some would say it remains as manifold and imaginative as ever. In order to take…

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Something Happens

By Alfonse Borysewicz Essay

Painters Frame Contemporary Painting Painting has died and been resurrected several times in recent decades. Challenged by theory-laden conversations about art’s “post-medium” condition and a welter of deconstructionist propositions, painting seems nevertheless to have thrived in the face of adversity. Some would say it remains as manifold and imaginative as ever. In order to take…

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