(Art / Miami) + (New York x Art) = Fall Season

newyorkfall2012Holland and I made it back to New York from Monday, November 26th to Friday, November 30th. What did we do? What did we see? The George Bellows and Trick Photography (Before and After Photoshop) exhibitions at the Metropolitan, the Picasso Black & White and Gabriel Orozco Asterisms exhibitions at the Guggenheim, the Frick Museum’s permanent collection, the American Art Fair, the Just Off Madison open house event, and a number of the better galleries in Chelsea.

We also ate some food and did some shopping and saw some collectors and scholars.  New York was a wonder… as always.


1. Bellows could be very good, but he was very, very uneven. I was underwhelmed and surprised by that reaction.

2. The Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop was an unexpected delight. The “After Photoshop” portion was a HUGE disappointment.

3. Picasso… in black and white. There were some excellent things. Of course there were. In the main, though, I need a LONG break from Picasso.

4. Gabriel Orozco’s Asterisms was full of both wonder and delight. Dessicated toilet paper rolls, patinaed hard hats, old oars, sea glass and opaqued light bubs arranged by typology sounds like a description for another art world yawner. It wasn’t. It was terrrific.

5. I had never seen the Frick. What a building. What a collection. You could go for the Van Gogh self-portrait or the Rembrandt self-portrait. You could go for the Turners or the Titians, the Gainsboroughs or the El Grecos. Do you like Chinese porcelain or German? I dunno. I will always remember the Fragonard room, though. “Joseph! This is Henry. Send over a room of Fragonards.”

6. Pace Gallery’s installation of the Ozymandias Parade by Ed Kienholz was jaw dropping.

7. The new fad in Chelsea for issuing exhibition lists WITH and WITHOUT prices is probably going to stay, which will add one more level of minor irritation to the lives of all of us who live in this crazy place called the art world.

8. American Modernism and Nineteenth Century American painting seem to be hot. American Impressionism seems to be a bit softer.

As an art viewing trip, it was a solidly positive experience. Look over the pictures from Miami… Pictures 1 & Pictures 2 See what you think. The chatter from the pundit class has been decidedly negative. The images looked … like what I am used to seeing at art fairs these days: populist art’ntainment, modernist talismans, conceptual geegaws, shock & droll, and an assortment of passable to admirable - if largely ignored - other works by artists who have yet to plug in to the 1.21 Gigawatt Cash & Conversation Generator known as the CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET.



  1. sometimes i just wanna hug your sentences.

  2. That is the the nicest thing I can remember ever having been said to me.

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