If in New York or close by, do not miss, do not miss, do not miss the great Irving Petlin exhibitions — 3 of them at the same time, i.e. right now, in three different galleries:
— The KENT Gallery, 541 West 25th Street, Second Floor, New York NY 10001. Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm
— The Jan Krugier Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue at76th Street.
— Richard L. Feigen & Co. 34 East 69th Street.
— Tonight, Tuesday, 9 February the exhibition at the Feigen Gallery opens at 6 p.m. —
The picture above is the left half of a major new work started in December 2008, Gaza Guernica, on show at the Kent Gallery. To see the other half of the diptych, go to the Kent Gallery’s website & click the “here” at the bottom of the page. It will open the pdf of what I think is one of the best designed painting e-catalogues it has been my pleasure to see. I do hope that the gallery will eventually be able to bring out an actual, printed version. I will report in some more detail on the shows, once I’ve seen the third one. Meanwhile here is a quote from R.B. Kitaj and, below that, a video of Petlin commenting on some of works at the Kent gallery.
It is an article of faith with me that good and true artists will always represent the human face and figure and presence until the end of time. Some will not. Those who will, as they always have, will transform the depictive art by power of unique gifts and character and personality and doggedness and luck and though the courtesy, as it were, of the time and place in which they live and interact.
Do not be impatient with those of us, like Petlin, who are having to reread our depictive history slowly, as if in this era of later modernism that history is written in a lost distant tongue.
—R.B. Kitaj, Catalonia, 1977