Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

"Vida Americana" Review: Ideas Without Borders
An illuminating show at the Whitney examines the impact of Mexican muralists on a wide spectrum of American artists.

February 19, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

New York

Don't be fooled by "Dance in Tehuantepec" (1928), Diego Rivera's colorful, seductive painting of a folk custom that opens "Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945" at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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A Witty, Domestic Gambit
Sofonisba Anguissola's 'The Chess Game' is cited by scholars as among the first Italian paintings of everyday family life.

January 25, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

For women like Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1535-1625)—the eldest daughter of minor nobility in Cremona, Italy—the world was full of limitations. But Anguissola was both talented and lucky. With unusual encouragement and support from her parents, among others, plus her own grit, she became a famous and important artist in her time. Her remarkable skill, finesse and originality are on view in an exhibition in Madrid's Prado Museum through Feb. 2, especially in "The Chess Game" (1555), a work that is not only charming and witty but also inventive. Anguissola painted it at the mere age of 23 (or possibly younger, as no one knows her real birth year).

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'Bruegel's "The Wedding Dance" Revealed' Review: Revelry Restored
Visitors are invited to look closely at the masterpiece and to learn what conservators have discovered since 2015.

January 22, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Detroit

The Detroit Institute of Arts owns many masterpieces, but perhaps none as cherished as Pieter Bruegel's "The Wedding Dance" (1566). The merry peasant scene, with its spirited dancing, drinking and kissing rendered in Bruegel's detailed, wry style, ranks among his best pieces. When Detroit's bankruptcy in 2013 prompted creditors to call for the liquidation of museum holdings purchased with city money—which "The Wedding Dance" was—it merited the highest valuation in the collection: $100 million to $200 million. With as many calls to sell it as to keep it as an emblem of civic pride, it was saved by a "grand bargain" that averted all art sales.

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Masterpiece: Magisterial and Filled With Drama
Ribera, unafraid of color and traditional iconography, established a Neapolitan style, as can be seen in his 'St. Jerome.'

January 4, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Naples in the early 1600s was a bustling metropolis, governed by Spain and second in population in Europe only to Paris. Yet unlike other Italian localities, it lacked a strong visual art style of its own or even a trailblazing painter. Caravaggio had twice spent time there, attracting followers to his dramatic chiaroscuro lighting technique, but Neapolitan art remained largely unremarkable.

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MoMA gears up for its next big collection rehang
After grand expansion, New York museum is already planning to swap out more than 700 works next spring

October 31, 2019  •  The Art Newspaper

Florine Stettheimer will make way for Alfred Stieglitz. Harry Calla­han will yield to Gordon Parks Jr. And Mrinalini Mukherjee will move out for Moustapha Dimé.

Even as the expanded Museum of Modern Art in New York showed off its rearranged permanent collection this month—presenting a more global and inclusive story of Modernism—curators were deep into deciding what would go on view next spring. MoMA has promised to rotate about a third of the works on all three collection floors every six months, in contrast with the traditional museum practice of leaving collection displays largely untouched for years.

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