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Michael BRENSON

10 articles

EXHIBITION

Some Contemporary Prints

PUBLISHED

21 August 1983

A RARESHOW OF THE FAMILIAR MASTERS

By Michael BRENSON

LUGANO, Switzerland The most spectacular exhibition in Europe this summer is not in Paris or London or Berlin but in a villa on the eastern tip of Lugano, Switzerland. In exchange for a loan of 40 paintings from his celebrated Old Master collection, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza has borrowed 40 late 19th- and early 20th-century French paintings of the highest quality from the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. The show is of particular interest, since the paintings have been rarely seen in the West since they were acquired by the two great Russian collectors, Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin, in the years prior to World War I. This Impressionism to Cubism greatest-hits shows, installed in the private quarters of the baron's Villa Favorita, the building that houses his Old Master museum, continues through Oct. 15. The Soviet authorities' selection of the baron's top 40, which includes paintings by Rogier van der Weyden, Titian, El Greco and Goya, will be on display at the Pushkin from Sept. 12 to Nov. 14 and the Hermitage from Nov. 19 to Feb. 1, 1984.

New York Times • Arts • page 1 • 1,753 words

EXHIBITION

Miró and Picasso

PUBLISHED

11 September 1983

PAINTING WILL GAIN A NEW PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PAST

By Michael BRENSON

The overwhelming focus of the 1983-84 museum season is painting - not just a random smattering of old and modern masters, although there is, as usual, a cross-section of the old and the new, but a concentrated dose of the kind of painting that can throw into perspective work being done now. By the time the season is over and museumgoers have seen Manet, Gris, Kandinsky, Balthus, de Kooning and the late work of Picasso, as well as Malcolm Morley and the best young Expressionist painters from Germany, contemporary painting will not look the same. The season also has its share of survey shows that will help place modern and contemporary painting in a larger context. The most notable will be those mounted by the Museum of Modern Art, which will become itself a focus of attention as the season wears on. The Modern expects finally to reopen and reveal its larger and more streamlined facilities next May. The first of the survey shows, ''The Modern Drawing,'' runs from Oct. 29 to Jan. 3 and includes 100 drawings from Post-Impressionism through artists like Jasper Johns, whose styles were formed before 1960. When the show ends, the museum will close down. The exhibition marking its reopening, ''An International Survey of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture,'' will attempt to provide an overview of the art of the last five years. The museum has been a muted presence in the artistic life of this city since its building program began in 1980.

New York Times • Arts • page 39 • 1,930 words

EXHIBITION

Monumental Prints: Georg Baselitz and Rolf Iseli

PUBLISHED

26 December 1983

MODERN MUSEUM CLOSING UNTIL MAY

By Michael BRENSON

On Jan. 4 the Museum of Modern Art will close for four months to complete the $55-million expansion and renovation project that began in the fall of 1980. The project has involved the renovation of all existing facilities and the construction of a new west wing that will more than double the exhibition space and enable the museum to put almost twice as many works on display. In addition, a 44-story residential tower has been completed above the new wing by a private developer who paid the museum $17 million in property, or ''air,'' rights. Some tenants have already moved in.

New York Times • Arts • page 11 • 1,124 words

SCULPTORS FIND NEW WAYS WITH WOOD

By Michael BRENSON

One of the most unexpected developments in sculpture today is the sudden prevalence of wood. Wood occupies only a peripheral place in the history of Modernism. Twentieth-century giants like Brancusi, Picasso and Moore used wood, but it was not their primary sculpture material. During the wave of interest in direct carving in the United States between the wars, Herbert Ferber, Seymour Lipton and David Smith all worked in wood, but their major work came later, and the materials were metal and steel. After World War II, there was pioneering work in wood by Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois and Mark di Suvero, but wood remained so much outside the late Modernist mainstream that, for example, their work was all but excluded from the new, but historically conceived painting and sculpture installation at the Museum of Modern Art.

New York Times • Arts • page 29 • 1,635 words

EXHIBITION

Richard Serra/Sculpture

PUBLISHED

23 February 1986

MUSEUM AND CORPORATION - A DELICATE BALANCE

By Michael BRENSON

The opening 10 days ago of the Equitable Tower - the world headquarters of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States - is an event of major artistic importance. It marks a commitment to art on the part of a prominent American corporation that is as generous and innovative as any before. For the Whitney Museum of American Art, the opening of a fourth ''branch museum'' just inside Equitable's main, atrium entrance at 787 Seventh Avenue, and its advisory role in the corporation's art commissions and in the development of the Equitable art collection, marks the culmination of a long courtship. With other branch museums supported by Champion International, Philip Morris and Park Tower Realty, the museum has now wedded its future to corporations. What the Equitable has done is in many ways impressive. Its willingness to commission work without conditions and to underwrite the largest of the Whitney branch museums is a statement of its belief not only in the commercial and promotional value of art, but also in the role art can play in the quality of corporate and communal life. Every one of the large-scale commissions in the new building - by Scott Burton, Sandro Chia, Sol LeWitt and Roy Lichtenstein - is ambitious and worthy of serious attention.

New York Times • Arts • page 1 • 2,689 words

EXHIBITION

Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture and Design

PUBLISHED

7 September 1986

MODERN MASTERS, ANCIENT TREASURES AND NEW QUESTIONS

By Michael BRENSON

The 1986-87 New York museum season is filled with provocative shows, particularly on modern masters and contemporary art. It is limited on Old Masters, however, and weak in sculpture. And even with ''Treasures of the Holy Land: Ancient Art from Israel,'' a show of 200 objects excavated this century from Biblical sites, and with what promises to be a glorious show on 16th- and 17th-century Italian painting, there is little this year with a broad appeal and sweep. For the first time in a while, the emphasis in contemporary art is not on expressionism. There are museum shows on two artists identified with Neo-Expressionism, David Salle and Cindy Sherman, but Salle's approach is largely conceptual, and Sherman, whose traveling retrospective ends at the Whitney next summer, produces photographs. Indeed the focus of the contemporary art exhibitions is decidedly anti-expressionist and Conceptual. And the 1986-87 exhibition season, as a whole, has as much to do with questions as with answers.

New York Times • Arts • page 43 • 1,771 words

EXHIBITION

Projects: Magdalena Jetelov√°

PUBLISHED

17 April 1987

ART: NEW SCULPTURES FROM EUROPE AT MODERN

By Michael BRENSON

LEAD: IN the year since it was re-established at the Museum of Modern Art, the ''Projects'' series has been one of the few programs in New York City consistently responsive to contemporary sculpture. Three of the five exhibitions, including the one that inaugurated the new series, have been on sculpture, and a fourth, an installation by Justen

New York Times • Arts • page 26 • 1,568 words

EXHIBITION

Anselm Kiefer

PUBLISHED

9 December 1988

Review/Art; Mechanics of Memory

By Michael BRENSON

LEAD: Christian Boltanski is an important member of the remarkable generation of artists that has revived European art through its willingness to struggle with memory. He was born in Paris on liberation day, Sept. 6, 1944, and his middle name is Liberte. His mother was Roman Catholic; his father was a Jew who converted to Catholicism before the war.

New York Times • Arts • page 26 • 1,581 words

EXHIBITION

Artist's Choice: Burton on Brancusi

PUBLISHED

16 April 1989

Rearranging the Brancusis

By Michael BRENSON

LEAD: The speaker is Kirk Varnedoe of the Museum of Modern Art, the subject is the artist Scott Burton. ''I heard him saying that every sculptor has at the base of his work a central gesture. He said he always thought about Brancusi's bases as tables that he reached out and squeezed. I thought: if only I could get across this bear hug, this lived relationship with art.

New York Times • Arts • page 33 • 1,619 words

EXHIBITION

Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism

PUBLISHED

24 December 1989

MORE/On Art

By Michael BRENSON

LEAD: The texture of a season is defined as much by the atmosphere around main events as by the events themselves, as much by the huge and ever-changing cast as by current art stars. Here are a few snapshots from a very personal album.

New York Times • Arts • page 37 • 656 words