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Picasso’s moment of clarity

The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews. —-W.H. Auden 1 When I was visiting the L.A. County Museum of Art a year ago, I came across the final print from Picasso’s Vollard Suite in Fantasies and Fairy Tales, a small, beautifully curated selection of graphic work by various artists from around the […]

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Leo Ragno

A sample of Leo Ragno’s portraiture, from Instagram

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The hermit of Aix’s color

I saw this painting almost exactly ten years ago at Cezanne and American Modernism at the Montclair Art Museum. After all these intervening years, I finally bought the catalog for the show. It’s a hardbound book once in the collection of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Library, with the little envelope for the library loan […]

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Calligraphers’ Guild, “Wit and Wisdom”

Art Presence Art Center will feature the Calligraphers’ Guild as the Guest Artists for February.  The exhibit opens on January 30th and runs through March 1st.  The gallery is open from 11 to 5 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Don’t miss sayings that are beautifully calligraphed and meet the writers in person.  The exhibit in […]

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Johannes Muller Franken

I saw this painting some years ago at an invitational group show at OK Harris, not long before the gallery closed, seemingly another little heartbreak in the cancer of real estate inflation in Manhattan driving out all sorts of businesses that operate on a human scale and replacing them with gentrified real estate and Google […]

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XO Stationery Stash

It might be less than two weeks into the new year but in the retail world…guess what is virtually tomorrow??? That’s right, Valentine’s Day! Just in case you’re the stash-that-perfect-card-away-for-the-right-occasion variety (you’re in good company), let me introduce you to a few new designs in the XO category. I’m headed off into the season of […]

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The Manifest Prize: The Cartographer

I loved the artist statement (I can’t remember if I have ever those words in the past) for this installation that won Manifest’s coveted $5,000 Manifest One award and single-work exhibition. Here is the email announcement with Indiana artist Damon Mohl’s statement below. I like the sense of exhaustion and lostness in his vision, which […]

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Peter Schjeldahl will be missed

I was delighted when Jim Mott sent me some excerpts from Peter Schjeldahl’s sayonara at The New Yorker, inaugurating his retirement. I spend so little time reading magazines now; I missed it. May he move on to write a book, if he survives his battle with cancer long enough. The prospects don’t sound good. He’s always […]

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Giotto and A la recherche du temps perdu

To paint pictures is to live in a state of paradox. What I intend usually just points me in the direction of what I achieve, and by not achieving quite what I want, I sometimes succeed in ways I wouldn’t have imagined and may not even realize. Occasionally I invest paint with something far better […]

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Loose yet accurate

Mark Tennant, 20 x 16. That’s all I know about this painting by an artist who has turned a bit of a corner in the past year or two–the simplicity of his execution has become extraordinary given how convincingly he puts one perfect tone alongside another. These chunks of color do exactly the job he […]

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