beckmann-carnival

One of the 39 paintings on view through February 20 at the Metropolitan Museum for its exhibition Max Beckmann in New York: Max Beckmann. German, Leipzig 1884–1950 New York, “Carnival Mask, Green, Violet and Pink (Columbine),” 1950. Oil on canvas, 53 3/8 × 39 9/16 inches(135.5 × 100.5 cm). Framed: 61 3/8 × 47 3/4 × 1 3/4 inches (155.9 × 121.3 × 4.4 cm). Saint Louis Art Museum, Bequest of Morton D. May. SL.9.2016.24.2. Image courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art. To access the full version of the article, including more images, subscribers please e-mail paulbenitzak@gmail.com . Not a subscriber? 1-year subscriptions are just $39.99, or $19.99 for students and unemployed or under-employed artists. Just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to paulbenitzak@gmail.com , or write us at that address for information on how to pay by check or in Euros or British pounds.

 

Reading the writing on the wall (text): Beckmann in New York — When Brilliant Art meets Dull Presentation, or why Trump Tower isn’t the only sign of dumbed down cultural discourse on Fifth Avenue

beckmann-falling

Max Beckmann. German, Leipzig 1884–1950 New York, “Falling Man,” 1950. Oil on canvas, 55 1/2 × 35 inches (141 × 88.9 cm). Frame: 62 1/4 × 41 1/4 × 2 3/4 inches (158.1 × 104.8 × 7 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Max Beckmann. SL.9.2016.13.1. Wall text for the Metropolitan Museum exhibition “Max Beckmann in New York” has reduced the interpretive possibilities for this complex tableau, rich in mythological and historical references, to a sort of back to the future echo of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York. Image courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2016 Paul Ben-Itzak

I was all set to write about how refreshing it was to discover an exhibition, Max Beckmann in New York, whose curator, going against the trend in many leading Paris museums, does not feel the need to re-encadre a painter who should be able to stand on his own merit in an artificial curatorial construct that contrasts him with other artists or situates him, after the fact, in a historical, literary, or sociological context that has more to do with museum marketing than the artist’s actual intent and universe.

To access the rest of the article, including more images, subscribers please e-mail paulbenitzak@gmail.com . Not a subscriber? 1-year subscriptions are just $49, or $25 for students and unemployed artists. Just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to paulbenitzak@gmail.com , or write us at that address for information on how to pay by check or in Euros or British pounds.

What makes this painting worth 802,000 Euros?

contempaclindner-smallRichard Lindner (1901 – 1978), “Stranger No. 1,” 1958. Oil on canvas, 50 x 30 inches. Artcurial pre-sale estimate: 600,000 – 800,000 Euros. Sold for 802,000 Euros. Image copyright and courtesy Artcurial.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2016 Paul Ben-Itzak

I was all set to slam that someone had paid 802,600 Euros — just over Artcurial’s pre-sale estimate of 600,000 – 800, 000 at its December 6 post-war and contemporary art auction in Paris — for Richard Lindner’s 1958 “Stranger No. 1,” (I even had my headline: “Is the art market crazy, or am I clueless?”) The hodge-podge style, which bears traces of German Expressionism and hints at Pop Art things to come, seems to dilute both. Inspired by various schools, Lindner — a Hamburg-born illustrator who only really began painting at the age of 49, producing just 120 tableaux over 28 years — at first appeared in this painting to be a master of none. But then I took a closer look at the hi-res jpeg sent to me by the kindly Artcurial stagiare (intern) before reducing the file, and discovered 100 years of art history contained in one 50 x 30 inch oil painting.
To access the full version of the article and more images of stunning modern and contemporary art, subscribers please e-mail paulbenitzak@gmail.com . Not a subscriber? 1-year subscriptions are just $49, or $25 for students and unemployed artists. Just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to paulbenitzak@gmail.com , or write us at that address for information on how to pay by check or in Euros or British pounds.

met-beckmann-maskBlue in the Face: Born in Leipzig in 1884, schooled in Weimar and Paris, fleeing the Nazis for Holland and arriving in New York in 1949, one morning in late December 1950 Max Beckmann set out across Central Park to see his “Self-Portrait in Blue,” painted earlier that year and already on display in the Metropolitan Museum. He made it as far as 69th Street and Central Park West, where he suffered a fatal heart attack. With this rather morbid point of departure, the Met’s new exhibition, Max Beckmann in New York, running through February 20, culls 14 paintings created in that brief New York sojourn and 25 works from other U.S. collections, including, above: “Carnival Mask, Green, Violet, and Pink (Columbine),” 1950. Oil on canvas, 53 3/8 × 39 9/16 inches or 135.5 × 100.5 cm. (Framed: 61 3/8 × 47 3/4 × 1 3/4 inches or 155.9 × 121.3 × 4.4 cm.) Saint Louis Art Museum, Bequest of Morton D. May. SL.9.2016.24.2. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.