About; Note on Images

George: “I don’t get art.”
Jerry: “There’s nothing to get.”
George: “No, it always has to be explained to me, and then I have to have someone explain the explanation.”
(Seinfeld, “The Letter” episode; 1992)

Mutatis mutundis.  Yes, it’s been three decades!  And yet, some of my  good friends, among many others, continue to express a similar mystification, if not exasperation, vis-a-vis contemporary (and to a lesser extent, much historical) art–and to question not only the how and the why but the worth of the two-sided (artist-viewer) dynamic in terms of life-world experience.  This blog attempts energetic summaries of recommended exhibitions around town, intending to address relative newbies and, at times, the already converted via related news and reference to scholarly discourse.  Crucial: there’s a tendency to take it all too seriously … that is not to say that art (collectively) isn’t very important to human experience and even survival.  But part of it is to just be in the aesthetic moment, ideally outside of analysis.  

Rather than comprehensive reviews, my method here is mainly reactive–with a few sporadic digressions inherent in the blog form.  The matrix is always art experienced at close hand.  My related preoccupations began in the early 1980s, which often casts, inadvertently at times, a retrospective view of stylistic trends, propensities, and contexts of engagement with ongoing exhibition organization and material. 

Photographs of art posted on this site are taken by JBCB unless otherwise noted, for immediate art-educational reference only in conjunction with specific exhibition review posts.  They are intended as “draft” reproductions rather than accurate representations of particular works of art per se (to help further avoid any rights issues of which I may be unaware). Visitors are urged to google works of art/artists/museums/galleries mentioned for high-quality reproductions that will generally be easily accessible.

JBCB in front of a portrait of the artist, Zhang Juan by Chuck Close; in the 86th St./Second Ave. subway station (opened Jan. 2017; see post).

JBCB is an art historian based in New York (Ph.D., SUNY/Stony Brook, 2001).  She has taught at colleges and universities around the country for two decades, among them, WSU (Wichita), UCF (Orlando), Lincoln University (PA), Christopher Newport University (VA), and St. John’s University (NY). Previous to an academic career, she was a gallerist in NYC (Fischbach; Schreiber/Cutler). Also a closet artist, she works with her husband on botanical designs for wildflowergraphics.com.

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Credos:

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” Frederick Douglass (1845)

“Je crois sincèrement que la meilleure critique est celle qui est amusante et poétique; non pas celle-ci, froide et algébrique, qui, sous prétexte de tout expliquer, n’a ni haine ni amour . . . .” Baudelaire (1846)

Email contact:   JBCB

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Snapshot reactions to contemporary art (mainly; not exclusively) exhibited in NYC (mainly; not exclusively), by Jody B. Cutler-Bittner (art historian, art educator). Search artists, galleries, museums, key words below, and "enter."