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Rachel Cohen

yellow (5)

Weekend Glimpse Norman Lewis

Saturday, June 6, 2020

This work in pastel and ink by Norman Lewis caught my attention one day at the Smart Museum of Art. The story wears us down. Lewis grew up in Harlem, his parents were Bermudian, he studied with Augusta Savage. He worked alongside Pollock in the WPA and showed with Mark Rothko and went to the meetings of the Abstract Expressionists, he founded the gallery Cinque with Romare Bearden and Ernest Crichlow, he had shows in his lifetime at MoMA and the Whitney, but his work was not discussed [...] more

Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin, Notes of Native Sons

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Between the thirties and the end of World War II, there was perhaps as radical a change in the psychological perspective of the Negro American toward America as there was between the Emancipation and 1930. —Amiri Baraka, Blues People: Negro Music in White America When I looked at this painting, painted in 1948, Beauford Delaney’s Untitled (Village Street) at length this winter, I was very struck by the way one side of the painting is very clearly in color, and the other very clearly emphasizes [...] more
Cézanne, still life

Cézanne and Ponge: Wooden Table

Frederick Project: Tableau

Monday, April 13, 2020

The painting is called Still Life with Commode . It’s from 1887-88, a strong period of Cézanne’s work. He was fighting hard with his canvases, and able to do some of what mattered to him. He made two very similar versions of this painting, which was unusual for him; there is only one other still life pair where he worked through the same arrangement twice. So, the elements and their arrangement here were of unusual interest to him. The back of the picture is the commode. Which is [...] more
Hiroshige

Hiroshige's Views of Kyoto

Frederick Project: Reconstruction

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In December of 2019, I went to New York for a few days and various reasons, and I went twice to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was covering their show Kyoto: Capital of Artistic Imagination , for which they had reinstalled their Japanese galleries with works from their permanent collection that partake in the long Kyoto tradition. Kyoto was for many centuries the capital of Japan – this capital was eventually shifted to Edo, which is now called Tokyo. The two cities were connected by a famously beautiful road, the Tokaido Road, and many [...] more

Abstraction and Eyes

Sunday, April 13, 2014

One of the unusual aspects of Beauford Delaney’s work as an abstract painter was that even late in his career, when he lived in Paris and had moved very fully into abstraction, he also painted very specific and characterful portraits.  These two kinds of paintings were shown together during his lifetime – at, for example, the Galerie Lambert on the Île St. Louis in 1964 – and have been shown so since his death – in particular at the Levis Gallery in Chelsea last year, an exhibition, that, regrettably, I was not in New York to see. [Here are [...] more