Friday, June 14, 2019

Art Review

Basquiat x Warhol et al......

Jack Shainman, photo: Mary A. Nelen

Jack Shainman was ebullient. The art he rounded up from private collectors for this summer’s exhibit at The School in Kinderhook, New York was seeing the light of day. Outside in the sunshine, wine was cooling under tents set up on the rolling lawn.

“After so many years, we’re looking at this work with fresh eyes,” said Shainman, raising his arms aloft.

The journey from the Lower East Side in Manhattan, where Basquiat and Warhol’s work was created, to Kinderhook is a good 150 miles and the artists’ collaboration took place 50 years ago. The artwork exhibited under the high ceilings and natural light of The School was revelatory.

In the gallery’s upstairs hallway, Shainman stood in front of a 10-foot black and white mural of da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” featuring the original participants as well as logos for Heinz 57 and Camel Cigarettes.

“This was created by Andy to hang in the plaza in Milan where the original painting is,” said Shainman of the artwork, titled “The Last Supper (Camel/57).”

“Here,” he added, “you can see the work, the light, notice Warhol’s skill at drawing the human figure.”

Basquiat and Warhol collaborated between 1984 and 1985 in a working relationship described by Shainman.

“Warhol would begin a work and Basquiat would finish it,” he said, adding that they were very competitive.

A good example of their process can be seen in the following before and after example.

“Untitled (Two Dogs), 1984” is Warhol's acrylic and silkscreen work of ink on canvas featuring stylized versions of dogs, one red and one blue, each relieving themselves.

© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat /ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2019

“Dog, 1984” features the original dogs, in Warhol’s stylized hand, with an overlay of campy, Basquiat images in oil stick and paint.

© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat /ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2019

The show is unusual and full of energy, with collaborative works by the pair and important works by each artist individually, including a prized Warhol portrait of Jacqueline Onassis, Campbell’s Tomato Soup boxes made of wood (never before exhibited) and several very large-format works by Basquiat.

Photo: Mary A. Nelen

There are more than 125 pieces in the exhibition as well as three films by Warhol: “Archie and George,” “Edie and Kipp” and “Lou Reed” (each 3 minutes long). Also on display is the PBS American Masters documentary “Basquiat: Rage to Riches,” which iss a behind-the-scenes look at the art world, where dealers and artists describe an '80s art scene of drugs, racism, cash and the rise of the genius that was Jean-Michel Basquiat. Go for the art, stay for the documentary.

Basquiat x Warhol
The School | Jack Shainman Gallery
25 Broad St. Kinderhook, NY

June 1 – Sept. 7, 2019

While the verdant is on the outside at The School, other area galleries and museums are celebrating the natural world inside their walls this summer: 

“Thomas Cole’s Refrain” is a series of paintings by Thomas Cole that chart the course of the  Catskills retreating topography. Luminescent impressionism in the form of bathing nudes by Pierre-AugusteRenoir are up at the Clark. In a wooded glen, 35 drawings that launched Brice Marden’s Cold Mountain paintings, based on poetry by a 9th-century Chinese monk, are on display at 'T' Space. And Peter Dellert’s assemblage and collage titled imMaterial reActions at aMuse Gallery in Chatham combine natural ephemera such as hydrangea blossoms with industrial salvage such as catalytic converters to give chaos its beautiful due.

Seated Bather (detail), c. 1883–84. Photo: President and Fellows of Harvard College

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Renoir: The Body, The Senses
The Clark Art Institute
225 South St.
Williamstown MA
June 8 - September 22, 2019

© Peter Aaron/OTTO

Thomas Cole
Thomas Cole’s Refrain: The Paintings of Catskill Creek
Thomas Cole’s National Historic Site
218 Spring St.
Catskill, NY
May 3 – November 3, 2091

Cold Mountain Study (24): Photography by Bill Jacobson, 2019

Cold Mountain Study in TSpace: Photography by Susan Wides, 2019

Brice Marden 
Cold Mountain Studies
T Space Rhinebeck
137 Round Lake Road 
June 9 – August 11, 2019

Moon Over Mars: Photography by Motoko Inoue
Peter Dellert
imMaterial reActions
aMuse Gallery
7 railroad avenue
Chatham NY 12037
May 31 - June 28, 2019