January 27, 2017

The chief interest of Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-65, an important exhibition at the Grey Art Gallery in New York, is anthropological. The 200 or so paintings, sculptures, photographs and documents by around 120 New York artists are largely unremarkable, even though some are handsome. For most exhibitions, this would be fatal, and for most of the works of art in this one it is. But this show is concerned with another kind of quality: the quality of a serious discussion, which, like a picture, can be experienced aesthetically, even if one is only learning about it after the fact. These conversations in New York art circles once took place and barely do any longer because the space—literally, affordable real estate—is no longer available. 

December 12, 2016

Nine paintings by Nicholas Krushenick are on display at Garth Greenan Gallery through January 7, 2017. Krushenick, who died in 1999, favored a bright, bold style, commingling Pop Art with abstract expressionism, minimalism, and any other number of -isms. He relished the chance to defy categorization: “They don’t know where to place me. Like I’m out in left field all by myself. And that’s just where I want to stay.” In 1965, he contributed to The Paris Review’s print series.

April 24, 2015

Sometimes being a transitional figure who exists between two important art movements can be a guarantee you will be neglected by history.

That seems to have been the fate of Nicholas Krushenick whose major works during the 1960s, bridged the Abstract Impressionists and the Pop Art Movement. He labeled his work “Pop Abstraction.” 

Nicholas Krushenick: Electric Soup Reviewed in Times Union

March 12, 2015

There are well-known Pop artists — Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein come to mind — and well-known abstract expressionists — Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko to name a couple. But how many Pop abstraction artists can you name? Nicholas Krushenick combined elements of Pop and abstraction to create his own singular style, but wasn't fully recognized for his influence during his lifetime. With "Nicholas Krushenick: Electric Soup," the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery give the artist his due with a major survey of his work from the 1950s through the 1990s.

February 2015

“The pure products of America go crazy,” wrote William Carlos Williams. And if such lost souls don't crash and burn, which they often do, their craziness is sometimes channeled into original artistic expression. Even then, those “pure products” might have a hard time getting along or fitting in. Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999) made paintings that are simultaneously idiosyncratic and inevitable, melding Pop and abstraction seemingly before anyone else thought to do it—a fusion that has survived its original moment to seem more vital than ever. Although he enjoyed considerable success in his lifetime, Krushenick wasn't catapulted into the front rank of American painters, where he arguably deserves to be. Part of the reason is that his paintings are ornery, and so was he. What's more, the American cultural milieu tends to favor specialization, while Krushenick's work is too Pop for the abstract purists and too abstract for Pop's populism. Maybe that's why it doesn't look dated in the least.