The Easel

25th July 2017

Carol Rama: Outside the Institution

A new book published in conjunction with a Carol Rama survey says the following: “Not just anyone can go mad. It’s not such a casual, easy thing to do. And even if you do, only the truly possessed and determined few can render their madness into enduring art.” Whether literally true or not, this captures something of Rama and her psychosexually charged art. Images and a detailed discussion of some of her paintings are here.

How Artsy finally convinced galleries to sell art online

A leading online art sales start-up has just received a big dollop of new funding. Even discounting for the “rah-rah” tone of the linked piece, online sales are proving attractive to some art buyers. But a second piece articulates a gallery counter-argument: “The way that galleries show and sell art is a touchy-feely process, it’s a very personal process.”

18th July 2017

Andrew Wyeth and the artist’s fragile reputation

It is curious that a retrospective to mark the centenary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth is not travelling to a big east coast US city, despite its likely popularity. Clearly disagreements about Wyeth continue. This writer offers a truce. “I believe he fits into a larger tradition of modernist creativity that goes beyond the medium of painting. His influence … has been most important in poetry, literature and film making.”

The Female Nude is Triter Than Ever – Just Look at Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer is hugely famous, but is all his work good? Some paintings in his current New York get the requisite praise. But the above writer is irked by the nudes. “[I]t is, truly, a worn and bloated genre. If you are going to make a Female Nude in 2017, it better be in some way new, it better not simply participate in the same male gaze pseudo-eroticism that has dominated the art world ever since men could paint.”