Artist Reviews

James Mullen

Maine is a perennial magnet for landscapists, and James Mullen (b. 1962) has staked out a slice of the coastline as his special province. In the best works in “Time and Tides,” his recent exhibition at Sherry French Gallery in New York City, the spaghetti-box format seems a particularly apt fit for the shallow pools and shoals of trees... More »

Lani Irwin and Alan Feltus

This summer the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado will be presenting simultaneous solo exhibitions of paintings by Lani Irwin and Alan Feltus, American artists based in Assisi, Italy. The title of Irwin’s show, “The Illusionist,” could be a reference to the mimetic magic of the accomplished representational artist, but it... More »

Gustave Courbet

“Courbet and the Modern Landscape,” which ended recently a year-long tour at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, is a tight show with a solid thesis. We tend to think of great nineteenth-century landscapists as Romantic or Impressionist, but these thirty-seven paintings—executed between 1855 and 1877 by the quintessential French Realist... More »

Stephen Magsig

Stephen Magsig’s new urban streetscapes, which were on view through the end of 2006 at David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan, draw on a number of stylistic traditions, but they have their own poetic logic. Tight shots of commercial buildings dominate, usually in New York or Detroit, although Palace Detail, L.A. (2006) takes on a... More »

David Ligare

David Ligare’s autumn exhibition at Koplin Del Rio Gallery in California, his eighth solo show there, was titled “Ritual Offerings,” alluding to the cults of ancient Greece and Rome. Ligare (b. 1945) does not traffic, however, in the fancy-dress reenactments of propiation and celebration rites that were a specialty of historicists such... More »

Forum Gallery

“New Faces,” a group show of four young representational painters, was a late summer offering at Forum Gallery in New York City. The show had a distinctly international flavor, and the artists were very different stylistically. All seemed engaged in the social, political and psychological undercurrents of today’s society, in contrast to... More »

Stephen Tanis

The exhibition of paintings by Stephen Tanis (b. 1945), at Sherry French Gallery in New York City, is entitled “Close at Hand,” reflecting the sometimes startling immediacy of these recent still lifes and figure studies. That immediacy comes across as psychological in figure groups such as Srebrenica (2003)—a reaction to the Bosnian... More »

John Pence Gallery

Carl Dobsky (b. 1972) brings a muted sense of poetry to humble everyday objects and urban scenes. His fall show at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, where the artist recently moved from New York City, demonstrates both technical skill and individuality. Like many of today’s accomplished young realists, Dobsky studied at Jacob Collins’... More »


Combining historical artform with up-to-date technology, “Tapestries,” at the Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, documents an exciting and ambitious new area of collaboration. The Magnolia Editions Tapestry Project offers contemporary artists opportunities to rethink a millennia-old medium. Highlights from the history of tapestry include... More »

Jenkins Johnson Gallery

The gallery scene, once mostly dormant during the summer months, now extends across a longer schedule. During June and July, Jenkins Johnson Gallery presented its Eighth Annual Realism Invitational. For the first time the event was held on both coasts, with twenty of the thirty-eight artists showing work in both San Francisco and New... More »