Artist Reviews

Irving Penn: Personal Work

Death Embodied: Irving Penn’s RealismWhat is striking about the photographs that Irving Penn feels “personal” about—as distinct from the “impersonal” fashion photographs that made him famous—is their stark realism. And the deadness—actual or implied—of the objects pictured. There’s nothing glamorous about the decaying cigarette butts in... More »

Jervis McEntee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School

“Jervis McEntee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School,” which was on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, New York, from August 26 to December 13, 2015, was the first museum retrospective for McEntee (1828– 91). Eighty works illuminated the career of this lesser-known American landscapist, a native of the Hudson River... More »

Philippe Charles Jacquet

Philippe Charles Jacquet (b. 1977) paints mysterious twilight landscapes, set in the estuaries and coasts of the Rance Valley in the Brittany region of France. At the same time, he explores the universal realm of the imagination, as was beautifully demonstrated in his exhibition at Axelle Galerie in New York City (September 24–October 25... More »

Anthony Panzera

Anthony Panzera’s solo exhibition, “Because I could not stop for Death,” shown at Hunter College in New York City (July 31–September 26, 2015), explored the memento mori or vanitas genre. The title was borrowed from Emily Dickinson’s famous poem, and the “MM” that Panzera (b. 1941) uses to name his paintings stands for memento mori. His... More »

Paul Schulenberg and Roger Watt

Paul Schulenburg’s new paintings, at George Billis Gallery in New York City, record and distill his observations of city life. While human figures appear, the stories this artist-flâneur tells us focus on the interplay between the solid geometry of architectural forms and the transient, evanescent effects of light. We may be intrigued by... More »

Travis Louie

Travis Louie’s work in “Before They Became Heroes or Villains,” at William Baczek Fine Arts, in Northampton, Massachusetts, draws on memory, fantasy and mystery, to present a collection of portraits that simultaneously startles, amazes and puzzles. Like Alice in Wonderland, we encounter creatures that are hybrids... More »

Kiyochika and Whistler

“Kiyochika: Master of the Night” and “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames,” overlapping exhibitions at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C., complement each other beautifully and explore the poetics of the cityscape. The revelation for many viewers will be the work of Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915), who... More »

Hollis Dunlap

“Structure and Space,” the title of Hollis Dunlap’s recent show at Axelle Galerie in New York City, emphasized the formal values that undergird all good compositions, whether abstract or representational. Dunlap is a realist who knows how to create the illusion of depth and to give his figures convincing physical presence. He works in... More »

Steven J. Levin

Steven J. Levin understands the experience of looking at art. That understanding is evident both in his craftsmanship as a contemporary realist painter and in his celebration of museum spaces. Levin has a flair for the interior genre, especially for scenes in traditional-style galleries in institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of... More »

William Trost Richards

“William Trost Richards: Visions of Land and Sea,” at the National Academy Museum in New York City, draws on a 1954 bequest by the artist’s daughter, Anna Richards Brewster. Most of the sixty works on view, many recently conserved, have not been previously exhibited. Richards (1833–1905), an accomplished craftsman, moved gracefully... More »