Howard Halle – The Leading Source for Art News & Art Event Coverage Wed, 05 Jun 2024 13:42:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Howard Halle – 32 32 168890962 LGBTQ+ Artists Having Institutional Shows This Pride Month Wed, 05 Jun 2024 13:30:55 +0000 Like last year, 2024’s Pride celebrations come at a time when LGBTQ+ rights are under threat, made all the more alarming by the upcoming presidential election, in which the very existence of American democracy is at stake. That has yet to still the political and cultural voices of the queer community, and indeed the latter are on full display, particularly in the realm of visual art, where LGBTQ+ artists have been exhibiting in greater numbers than ever. Below we recommend Pride-related shows mounted by prestigious museums here and abroad, international showcases featuring the work of LGBTQ+ artists, and a noteworthy nonprofit effort across a whole city.

As Surrealism Turns 100, a Look at Its Enduring Legacy Wed, 24 Apr 2024 16:15:00 +0000 Few movements in art history have had as lasting a legacy as Surrealism, which utterly transformed our manner of thinking and seeing. In its time, it garnered a remarkable degree of public recognition, and its influence on artists continues to be felt today.

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Surrealism with the publication of the Surrealist Manifesto in October 1924. Actually, make that manifestos, plural, as two tracts appearing within weeks of each other vied for the title. The first was written by Yvan Goll (1891–1950), a French-German poet with close ties to the German Expressionists; the other, more famous treatise was penned by André Breton (1896–1966), a French poet and critic whose talent for tireless self-promotion contributed to his ascension as Surrealism’s de facto leader and ideological enforcer.

Neither Goll nor Breton mentioned art in their respective statements. Moreover, neither actually coined the term Surrealism. That distinction belongs to Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918), a poet and prime proponent of the Parisian avant-garde, who used it in a 1917 letter to the Belgian critic Paul Dermée to describe the experimental ballet Parade (1917).

It’s the 100th Anniversary of Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein’s Birth Wed, 27 Dec 2023 14:53:00 +0000 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997), with celebrations of his life and work—including upcoming museum exhibitions at the Albertina, the Rose Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art—in the offing.

Aside from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) is the artist most closely identified with Pop Art. More than that, one could argue that Lichtenstein was the more insistently pop of the pair, as his subject matter, technique, and use of color ultimately derived from a single source—comic books—to which his work remained tied even as it evolved over time.

Within their respective oeuvres, both Warhol and Lichtenstein referenced the dot patterns used to mass-reproduce cartoons and photographs. But as much as this may have linked them in the collective imagination as the key figures of Pop Art, there were major differences between their careers. Not the least of these was the fact that Warhol became far more famous, largely due to the way he transformed the role of artist into a combination of celebrity, scene maker, and commercial entrepreneur.

Lichtenstein was more conventional, sticking to the studio and an interest in art history. He also made no distinction between his public and private selves, even as Warhol adopted a carefully crafted, enigmatic public persona. In other words, Lichtenstein’s view of what it meant to be an artist was fairly modest, best summed up by his observation that “most people think painters are kind of ridiculous, you know?”

Although both artists started out painting by hand, only Lichtenstein kept at it, while Warhol switched to the more mechanical medium of silkscreen. Ironically, he did so largely because his earlier facture was always being compared to Lichtenstein’s, who’d exhibited his paintings before Warhol managed to.

Undoubtedly Warhol left the bigger footprint art-historically. But Lichtenstein blazed an important trail of his own, creating a body of work that was as instantly recognizable and iconic as Warhol’s.

20 Works of Public Art to See in New York City Mon, 27 Nov 2023 13:36:00 +0000 Public art is nearly as old as human civilization itself, with countless monuments and statues erected over the eons. Though today public art is generally associated with temporary outdoor installations, New York City does have its fair share of permanently fixed alfresco artworks, including many modernist and contemporary examples dating from the mid-20th century onward. If you want track down some of the most important of them, consult our list below.

22 of the Best Movies About Artists Tue, 07 Nov 2023 13:46:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Compared with cops and superheroes, artists don’t appear on the big screen very frequently, but when they do, the results are often memorable. Dramas about art or artists can range from artist biopics to art-world satires, and as with just about any sort of story that gets the Hollywood treatment, accuracy takes a backseat to entertainment.

Still, if you’re a lover of art, there’s a lot to enjoy from this film genre, the best examples of which we’ve listed below.

An Ed Ruscha Retrospective at MoMA Presents a Master of Wordplay and Trompe L’Oeil Thu, 02 Nov 2023 12:42:00 +0000 Of all the artists associated with West Coast art, Edward Ruscha is one of the best known. He was there at the birth Los Angeles’s postwar art scene, which sprang up in the late 1950s and early 1960s around a sprinkling of forward-looking galleries, including the Ferus Gallery. Ruscha had is solo debut there in 1963, going on to 60 years of artistic production that won him global acclaim and a spot as the U.S. representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Ruscha’s current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art testifies to his achievements. Co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and on view through January 13, 2024, “Ed Ruscha/Now Then” offers a comprehensive overview of his multivalent practice, which includes painting, printmaking, drawing, bookmaking, and installation art. It reveals an artist with a cagey, deadpan sense of humor, whose focus on on the dialectic between reality and illusion eventually developed into a meditation on the American dream.

Throughout, Los Angeles, a city known for evanescent sunshine, movie magic, and all-pervasive freeways, remained Ruscha’s muse and touchstone, reflected in paintings and works on paper that are at once crisply delineated and mirage-like. Below, ARTnews revisits Ruscha’s life, art, and aesthetic vision through some of his best-known works.

The ARTnews Guide to Performance Art, Part 2: 1950s to the Present Fri, 23 Jun 2023 12:20:00 +0000 Between 1900 and 2000, performance art evolved from a fringe practice to a global divertissement. Its history divides into two periods: the first half of the 20th century, when performative practices by the avant-garde weren’t formally categorized as art, and the postwar era, when they eventually were. Moreover, these activities were confined largely to Europe and America before spreading worldwide after 1950.

Performance before and after midcentury was also distinguished by its increasing reliance on the camera, first for documentation, and later as an element integral to the work. The genre became increasingly bound up with photography, film, and video, which transformed a transitory medium into an art object after the fact.

Moreover, by the 1990s, film and video had achieved production values commensurate with mainstream movies, which had the effect of turning performance art into another form of cinematic mise-en-scène disconnected from live action in front of an audience.

The most salient development for performance art after 1950, though, was the sheer number of artists who embraced it. What follows, then, is a necessarily abridged account of this fascinating chapter in art history.

Read “The ARTnews Guide to Performance Art, Part One: 1700s–1920s” here.

Who Was Salvador Dalí and Why Was He So Important? Wed, 21 Jun 2023 13:45:00 +0000 Surrealism and Salvador Dalí will most likely spring to mind]]> Hear the word Surrealism and Salvador Dalí will most likely spring to mind—if not the artist himself, then certainly his signature icon of a melting watch. Known for his theatrical behavior and appearance (especially his cartoonishly waxed mustache) and for paintings (frenzied swirls of delirious, if not demented, subject matter) and found-object sculptures (e.g., Lobster Telephone, 1938, a handset sheathed in a crustacean carapace), Dalí became synonymous with Surrealism, much to the consternation of the movement’s founder, André Breton, who came to resent Dalí’s success.

Dalí’s legacy rested as much on the precedent he set for the artist as superstar brand (anticipating Warhol and Koons) as it did on his work. He also embodied the deleterious effects of such celebrity, becoming a caricature of himself whose antics and tendency to dump too much product into the market wound up diluting his art. More troubling was his flirtation with fascism during the 1930s, which cost him his place in the Surrealist circle.

What to Know About Keith Haring, a Defining Artist of the 1980s Tue, 23 May 2023 12:11:00 +0000 The subject of a new traveling retrospective opening May 27 at Los Angeles’s The Broad museum, Keith Haring (1958–1990) shot to fame in the art world at an unusually young age. He was in his early 20s when he first gained notoriety as a graffiti artist who crossed over to become a defining figure in New York City’s downtown scene of the 1980s—a decade when artists of the baby boomer generation made their outsize demographic felt by breaking down the last remaining barriers between high and low culture.

Haring’s rapidly dashed-off combinations of hieroglyphics and coloring-book outlines epitomized these developments, as his work went from street to gallery and finally to the auction house, where it ultimately fetched millions of dollars. Cut down by AIDS in 1990 at age 31, he left behind a legend that rivaled Warhol’s and that of his coeval, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Capturing lightning in a bottle, Haring reflected a cultural moment in New York that matched the louche glamor of Paris in the 1920s. Both milieus witnessed an influx of creatives prompted by larger historical forces: the aftermath of World War I for the French capital, and municipal bankruptcy for NYC during the 1970s, when white flight to the suburbs collapsed the city’s tax base. NYC became nearly as empty as its coffers, clearing a space for a tsunami of artistic aspirants—many of whom, ironically, were escaping suburbia, where they’d come of age amid the fruits of postwar prosperity and a firehose stream of television programming.

Thanks to television, Boomers grew up immersed in sitcoms, variety shows, dramas, commercials, and B-movies that introduced its impressionable audience to genres such as horror and sci-fi. Just as important, TV brought world-shattering events—JFK’s assassination, civil rights protests, the Vietnam War—into suburban living rooms. The result transformed images into a generationally shared shorthand.

It’s no surprise, then, that artists shaped by midcentury mass media—which also included rock-and-roll music and comic books—saw that the high-minded abstractions of 20th-century modernism had been exhausted after Conceptual Art and Minimalism, driving a return to representation. For Haring, this meant reviving a kind of Pop Art that was even more energetic and democratized than the original.

Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody will be on view at the Broad Museum, Los Angeles May 27–Oct. 8, 2023; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, from Nov. 11, 2023Mar. 17, 2024; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, April 27Sept. 8, 2024.

Who Was Wayne Thiebaud, and What Is His Place in American Art? Mon, 01 May 2023 13:27:00 +0000 Few artists could make a viewer’s mouth water in quite the way that Bay Area figurative artist Wayne Thiebaud (1920–2021) did with his sumptuous renderings of cakes, pies, candy, ice-cream cones, and sandwiches from the early 1960s, when he was tipped as a rising star of Pop Art. Rendered in a soft pastel impasto that looks like frosting, Thiebaud’s ranked arrays of confections beckoned viewers like goodies in a bakery.

But while his efforts were initially lumped in with those of Pop artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist, notably in curator Walter Hopps’s 1962 exhibition “New Paintings of Common Objects” at the Pasadena Art Museum, Thiebaud’s place in American art was something of a puzzle: On the one hand, his work spoke to the rampant consumerism occasioned by a postwar prosperity ignited by waves of returning veterans joining the middle class. On the other hand, his work didn’t deal with brands (as Warhol did with Campbell’s Soup and others) or the mass media. There was no way to read a implicit criticism of pop culture into Thiebaud’s canvases, the way one could with, say, a painting like Rosenquist’s F-111 (1964–65).

And then there was his technique. The effects of Thiebaud’s thick swirls of pigment were far removed from the slick facture of Warhol’s silkscreened paintings, Lichtenstein’s benday dots, and the broad, smooth brushwork that Rosenquist brought from his days as a commercial billboard painter.

Claes Oldenburg was, perhaps, the Pop artist who came closest to sharing Thiebaud’s sensibility. The subject matter of his “soft” sculptures—Brobdingnagian versions of quotidian objects stitched together from vinyl and stuffed with kapok fiber—often included foodstuffs such as hamburgers, French fries, and yes, slices of cake. But even here, the analogy with Thiebaud was imprecise.

The truth is, for all his associations with Pop Art, Thiebaud was really a kind of quirky realist, putting him in league with figurative artists such Alex Katz or Philip Pearlstein. More interestingly, Thiebaud’s oeuvre echoed that of another Northern California painter, Robert Bechtle, who, like Thiebaud, tuned in to the cultural reverberations of America’s booming suburbs.

A retrospective of Thiebaud’s work will be on view at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, through May 21, 2023.