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Three Sentence Reviews of Marlene Dumas, Dan Colen, and 11 Other Art-World Big Shots

Vulture.com May 31, 2018

Jerry Saltz

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To coincide with several big art fairs and last week’s massive auctions, many larger galleries mounted shows of their bigger artists. So let’s read the tea leaves on the upper end of the food chain.

Extract:  Beyond the Veil
Curated by Adam Knight
Olsen Gruin

No doubt many of the bigwigs in town for all the art stars, megagalleries and super-auctions, missed maybe the best secret show in New York at the moment, this six-artist exhibition of Australian Aboriginal women painters curated by the president of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia — a show that gives us a breathtaking small survey of what critic Robert Hughes (who in almost every case except this I disagreed with) called “the last great art movement of the twentieth century.”

 Start with the tremendous late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who started painting in her 70s, but whose strangely structured, still amorphous compositions of smears, dots, daubs, and squiggles create rippling worlds, undergrowth, river scenes, and complex cosmic interior space; and contrast her Rothko-like ruminations to the more detailed, pictorial, and symbolic images created by Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, and then to a mind-blowing group effort made by a collective of women that looks like a magic-carpet quilt for the spirit. It’s time for these artists and many others to be shown in and collected by museums, placed in context, installed for good in permanent collections along with other such “outsider” and “self-taught” artists, and to finally scrap our sick, desolated, apartheid-like systematic exclusion of any but “insider” artists.

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