Artist Reviews

Kevin Fitzgerald

An exhibition of recent paintings by Kevin Fitzgerald, at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, illustrates a paradox of the landscape genre. While rooted in the specifics of some natural place beloved of the artist, the landscape often blurs the line between representation and abstraction. Fitzgerald’s corner of the natural world... More »

Anders Zorn

“Anders Zorn: A European Seduces America,” at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, explores a fascinating episode in the vibrant milieu of Belle Époque artists and patrons. While not as well known today as his contemporaries James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent, Zorn (1860–1920) had a similar bravura technique and forward-... More »

Vital Realism: Ferdinand Hodler’s Figures, Landscapes and Portraits

In virtually all Ferdinand Hodler’s self-portraits he looks us right in the eye, his presence defiantly real, his vitality evident in his skin, nuanced with color in 1900 and 1916, but bursting with color in 1912 and 1914—the skin of a man who often worked outdoors, painting the massive Swiss mountains. One sees a remarkably intense man... More »

Catherine Prescott

Catherine Prescott’s exhibition at Hersh Fine Art in Glen Cove, New York (June 8–July 29, 2012), was titled “Interior, Exterior.” At first glance, that description seems to indicate little more than her range of subject matter— portraits, still lifes and landscapes. But the phrase also encapsulates the way she fuses realistic observation... More »

Refiguring Texas Realism

Ron Cheek, whose show “Refiguring Texas Realism,” is on view August 30–October 21, 2012, at Texas A & M University, takes artistic freedom to mean responsibility to what he paints and mastery of technique.  He has schooled himself and others in the old-master crafts of drawing, portraiture and the figure.  His Texas Academy... More »

Michael Klein

Michael Klein’s still lifes, on view at Collins Galleries in Orleans, Massachusetts, have a timeless quality. The subjects he chooses—fruits, flowers, simple terra cotta or glass vessels—have been popular since antiquity. His compositions are built on the kind of kitchen or studio arrangements that have been a mainstay since the... More »

Christopher Stott

It’s not likely that any one of us has recently dialed a rotary phone, composed a letter on a manual typewriter, consulted a grammar textbook from 1920 or checked a steamer trunk through at the airport. And yet most of us have an intimate familiarity with these objects, no matter what our age. We know what these things look like because... More »

Cesar Santos

Cuban-American painter Cesar Santos’s first New York City solotion, at Eleanor Ettinger Gallery (October 27–December 5, 2011), was titled “Syncretism.” The term syncretic is often used to describe cultural hybridity—the mix, say, of European and indigenous iconography in Latin American folk art, or the folk art-inspired work of Diego... More »

Harry Holland, Stuart Luke Gatherer, Iain Faulkner, Ian Cumberland

This summer, Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in New York City showcased the work of a half dozen British figurative painters, demonstrating once again that the contemporary realism revival is an international phenomenon. The Russian painters Olga Antonova and Ilya Zomb, Italian photorealists such as Roberto Bernardi and the Chileans Guillermo... More »

Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin

Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin’s spring exhibition, “Above and Beyond,” at L.A. Louver in Venice, California, seemed steeped in serene pantheism. Her cloud studies and landscapes of rolling hills are easy to place in the tradition of Romantics such as Corot and Constable. Yet her paintings also grow out of a specific American sensibility. Born... More »