Thursday, May 21, 2009

Francis Bacon at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Painter for Our Times, Francis Bacon Arrives at the Met

written by Anne Marie D. Lee in New York

Most artists are deliberately abstruse when it comes to expressing their thoughts, filling the canvas with impenetrable abstractions or hidden symbolism. Not Francis Bacon. As an exiting observer remarked on her way out of this grimly exhilarating show now open at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, “He has something to say, and he’s saying it!”

On display for the viewing public from now until August 16th, Francis Bacon: A Century Retrospective presents some 65 paintings of unapologetic intensity. Commemorating the centennial of the birth of Francis Bacon, who died in 1992, it is the first museum exhibition in New York dedicated to his work. And what a dramatic show it is.

Perhaps in more peaceful times, the impact of Bacon's blurred, pummeled faces and wide-mouth screams of man and beast could be received on a purely philosophical level, as acutely vivid allegories of existential angst. But in the context of today’s times, the juxtaposition of man and meat is all-too revolting, and the sight of nude biomorphic figures weirdly perched on pedestal or table all-too disturbing and real. It is art that speaks to, or more so howls at, the conditions of our own fear-ridden world, where violence and brutality have so savagely dehumanized the experience of life.

Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992)
Painting, 1946
Oil and pastel on linen; 77 7/8 x 52 in. (197.8 x 132.1 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

In one of a series of paintings called the Man in Blue, a businessman stares watchfully from the canvas--his face, a grotesque pallor of sickly phosphorescence, caged in vertical shadows and equipped with biting teeth. How easy it is to see in this sordid portrait study, and others like it, reflections of the unremorseful greed of bankers and CEOs, those for whom the heart is just another piece of meat.

In a previous room, Francis Bacon is quoted in a wall text as having once said, “I remember looking at dog shit on the pavement and I suddenly realized, there it is—this is what life is like.” Indeed the artist's work seethes with the anger of a damaged man, imprisoned within a world filled with physical pain and mental anguish. A world of shit, in other words. And remarkably like our own.

Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective
May 20, 2009–August 16, 2009
Special Exhibition Galleries, 2nd floor

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jean-Luc Godard's Film "In Praise of Love" | May 26

Jean-Luc Godard's film, 'In Praise of Love'

Tuesday May 26
Location: Tribeca Grand Hotel, Grand Screen
Screening at 6:30pm
Conversation and Q&A immediately following film.
Chair: Peter Duhon (Director, Art Comments)
Guest Panelist: Jonathan T.D. Neil (Art critic, curator and educator)
Reception in Lounge: 9pm - 10pm

Art Comments is pleased to announce a rare screening of a significant film within the oeuvre of Swiss and French director Jean-Luc Godard, 'In Praise of Love,' at Tribeca Grand Hotel's intimate theater, the Grand Screen, here in New York on the evening of May 26, to celebrate 50 years of French New Wave Cinema.
In this film, shot in Paris and released in 2001, Godard deftly deconstructs and challenges sacred yet unstable notions of history, memory and love with a lyrical depiction of their affects on human consciousness, past and present.
Drinks from lounge and bar can be enjoyed while watching film in theater.

This is an inaugural event of screenings, lectures and panel discussions curated by Art Comments at the Tribeca Grand Hotel New York and all donations from this event will help facilitate the continuance of the aforementioned.
Please rsvp by emailing
Tuesday May 26, 2009 6:30pm - 10pm
Tribeca Grand Hotel, New York
2 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
Theater Downstairs
Suggested Donation:
$10 General Public
$3 Artists and Students
Organized by:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

NEXT ART FAIR 2009 Chicago, Illinois

written by Don Porcella on assignment in Chicago

This fair was well attended and many galleries that I talked to were selling artwork. There was a gallery from Oakland, CA that was rumored to have sold out their booth, but they notoriously have a lower price point for their emerging artists. There was an excitement and a buzz about the fair signaling that the art market is alive and well. The opening night preview on Thursday was packed and the free drinks sure helped the energy. There were less galleries than last year but that offered a more manageable number of galleries and a less overwhelming experience than last year. The West Collection displayed their 2009 West Prize winners and announced next years opportunities. All in all I really enjoyed this years' NEXT ART FAIR. I think the organizers did a great job of putting together a really interesting art fair at a time when everyone was unsure of what to expect. I am going back to this fair next year.

Mark Wolfe and Katie Torn discussing Alika Cooper's art at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Booth from San Francisco, CA. Mark had several artists that I was excited about including Jacob Tillman.

Richard Haden creates these fantastic objects out of wood at The Dorsch Gallery from Miami, FL.

Richard Haden creates these fantastic objects out of wood at The Dorsch Gallery from Miami, FL.

This is a collaborative team that seemed to have art everywhere at the fair.

Kate Clark at Clair Oliver stole the show.