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Figurative Painting

The Art of Empathy: Joel-Peter Witkin and Jerome Witkin

Lita Barrie | Posted 09.07.2014 | Arts
Lita Barrie

The first joint exhibition of two of America's most respected living artists, Joel-Peter Witkin and Jerome Witkin at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts raises intriguing questions about the similarities between these remarkable twins.

Effigy and Exile

Brandon Kralik | Posted 08.24.2014 | Arts
Brandon Kralik

Perhaps the images we ordinarily see move too quickly. Maybe we wince when we are stared at or when are caught staring. Holdfast III will allow you to slow down and stare at our faces, engage the characters depicted, be they familiar effigies or exiles come home.

Lennart Anderson: The Road to Arcadia

Daniel Maidman | Posted 07.30.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

Anderson's work of the past couple of decades slips effortlessly into the stream of painting. It is a stream that has flowed for centuries, and will flow for centuries more.

My Own Private Tron: Jean-Pierre Roy at Gallery Poulsen

Daniel Maidman | Posted 05.25.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

Jean-Pierre Roy is engaged as a painter in an ongoing project which appeals to me very much; and not only in my capacity as a painter, but also as a metaphysically-inclined science and science fiction geek, and as a child of the '80s.

The Aesthetic Feminine

Daniel Maidman | Posted 05.19.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

To a contemporary eye, Dorian Vallejo's paintings can be difficult to place -- are they illustrations or art? Are they naive or self-conscious? Are the women in them acceptable or not? May we enjoy them, or ought we to scoff?

F. Scott Hess: The Perfect Hess-Storm

John Seed | Posted 04.11.2014 | Arts
John Seed

Instead of 'playing the game' Hess has been painting brilliant and darkly funny paintings, building friendships, teaching and serving as a beacon to an upcoming generation of representational artists.

Saying Goodbye to Martha Erlebacher

Daniel Maidman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

Born in 1937, Erlebacher broke with the abstract expressionism of her generation to become a lifelong practitioner and advocate of figurative painting.

10 Lucian Freud Paintings That Will Make You Fear Flesh (NSFW)

Posted 10.21.2013 | Arts

Sigmund Freud may have mastered the dark corners of the psyche, but his grandson Lucian certainly called dibs on all the shadowy secrets embedded in h...

The Excellent Unreal: Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne at Century Guild Chicago

Daniel Maidman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

I have an enormous soft spot for the work of Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne. Where I'm coming from on this is as follows: as a child, I was what you might call imaginative. Among the consequences of this were a taste for science fiction and an interest in dreams.

The Trustworthy Image: Janice Nowinski at John Davis Gallery

Daniel Maidman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

The human brain itself has dedicated hardware for seeing the face and the body. When this hardware is consistently not put to use in a culture's art, the art and the culture engage in a battle. The art loses first, and the culture second.

Letters in the Alphabet of Joy: Ali Cavanaugh's Watercolors

Daniel Maidman | Posted 11.03.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

Cavanaugh has spent years painstakingly compiling the visual components of happiness. Let me lead you through a few of these letters in her alphabet of joy.

Institutional Memory: Models and Their Artists

Daniel Maidman | Posted 10.01.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

A bit over a year ago now, I guess, Alexis Hilliard moved to New York. She came here to develop her skills at the New York Academy of Art. She's not a celebrity in the world overall, but I am a member of a very narrow sector among whom her face, if not her name, is extraordinarily well known. I've been looking at her face for nearly a decade.

Art Olympics Missing Event

Brandon Kralik | Posted 08.21.2013 | Arts
Brandon Kralik

Is the best contemporary classical painting not shown at the Olympics of the Art World because there is no interest in it?

Nudes in Venice: Interview With Ellen Altfest

Ridley Howard | Posted 08.14.2013 | Arts
Ridley Howard

"I do really get into that small space in the painting. I like the rounded shape of that armpit, that's kind of pleasing to me. Separating the parts of the model from the rest of the body is a way I can claim them and make them my own, and turn them into compositions."

Contemporary Classical Painting is Still Growing

Brandon Kralik | Posted 08.04.2013 | Arts
Brandon Kralik

There is so much happening in the world of representational painting these days that it is a challenge to keep up with it all. I want to give you a chance, in advance, to make note of several current exhibitions that you will want to see.

Gold, White, Pink, Indigo: Patricia Watwood's Venus Apocalypse

Daniel Maidman | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

"The beauty of the earth should inspire people to protect it, but humans are fatally anthropocentric."

"Images Precede Language" -- Getting to Know Eric Fischl

Michael Hafftka | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
Michael Hafftka

I was excited to read Eric Fischl's biography Bad Boy. He is my contemporary and despite us both working and living in proximity all these years, I have never met him. I wanted to read about the art world from a peer's point of view, an insider.

Odd Nerdrum's Open House in Paris

Brandon Kralik | Posted 07.16.2013 | Arts
Brandon Kralik

On an otherwise sunny day, a dark thundercloud passed over the sprawling gardens of the Nerdrum's home in Maisons-Laffitte. "Nature providing a little drama for Odd," commented the artist's son Bork Spildo Nerdrum.

Bridging the Divide: Lauren Gidwitz

Julia Clift | Posted 06.26.2013 | Arts
Julia Clift

In my experience, the polarization of painting in today's art world encourages painters to narrow their expressive range to one pre-fabricated set of boundaries or the other. Artists like Lauren Gidwitz present a more progressive perspective that includes all of painting on a single spectrum.

Old World Meets New World: Paul Pretzer in Dresden and New York

Patrick McGinnis | Posted 05.12.2013 | Arts
Patrick McGinnis

At the preview I attended, Pretzer explained that his work is rooted in classical painting and relies on three central components: color, form and the narrative of the piece. It all feels very European, very Old World.

Daughter of the Wild Women: Aleah Chapin at Flowers Gallery

Daniel Maidman | Posted 03.16.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

To sensibly discuss Aleah Chapin's new solo show at Flowers Gallery, we should start closer to the beginning of the story. So let's back up a bit.

Why I Make Figurative Paintings

Daniel Maidman | Posted 02.26.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

When we paint, we are making an image of a spiritual phenomenon. The image itself begins to partake of consciousness, owning itself and making person-like demands on the viewer.

Figures and Gaps: 'The Space Between' at Gregg Galleries

Daniel Maidman | Posted 02.10.2013 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

Painter Ryan Bradley has co-curated a group show devoted to a fertile formal premise: the foregrounded use of negative space in figurative art. As it happens, all of the work in the show interprets negative space as white area, generally of complex shape.

The Very Serious Dress-Up Playtime of the Soul

Daniel Maidman | Posted 12.12.2012 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

A friend of mine from the contemporary side of the divide recently said, "I don't get most of this representational work. Why? Why paint something so convincing? Where's the point of view -- why bother?"

Alex Katz Turns 85 In Style

The Huffington Post | Priscilla Frank | Posted 09.15.2012 | Arts

Alex Katz turns 85 this year, and it comes as no big surprise to his fans that the breezy cool figurative painter knows how to celebrate in style. Fro...