Tag Archives: Painting

Warren and Saville

Background: Jenny Saville, Hybrid (1997), Oil on Canvas, 108″x84″
Private collection © Jenny Saville

Foreground: Rebecca Warren, (2009), Reinforced clay on MDF sheet on wheels, 59 1/2″ x 54″ x 25″
Private collection © Rebecca Warren


Check out some photographs taken while installing SHE: Picturing Women at the Turn of the 21st Century. The exhibition opens this Saturday, October 25th. Opening reception is Friday, October 24th, 5:30-7:30. Please join us to celebrate!

photo 1



Left: George Condo, The Banker’s Wife, 2011, oil on linen, 74” x 72”, Private collection. © George Condo. Image courtesy Skarstedt Gallery.
Right: Jenny Saville, Hybrid, 1997, oil on canvas, 108″ x 84, Private collection, © Jenny Saville. Image courtesy Gagosian Gallery


photo 4



Installing Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball (Ariadne), 2012-2013, Plaster and glass, 44 5/16″ x 93 7/8″ x 36 5/8″, Private Collection. © Jeff Koons





Dunham D2014.5

Carroll Dunham, Untitled (6/16/97), 1997

The David Winton Bell Gallery is pleased to announce the acquisition of Untitled (6/16/1997), a ballpoint pen and pencil drawing by Carroll Dunham.

Developing a lexicon of pictograms since the early 1980s, Dunham has become known for his cartoon-like images of protruding phalluses, orifices, and other abstracted bodily abjections. At a time that was dominated by the rigors of process art, Dunham turned to comics, graffiti, and the psychosexual proclivities of surrealism to create sprawling canvases of silly yet seductive debauchery.

Over the years his work has grown increasingly figurative, while maintaining its commitment to the comically grotesque. In the mid 1990s he developed a series of distinct characters with penis-like noses and toothy, vagina dentate smiles. Two of these creatures can be seen floating on a raft in Untitled. One grabs his nose like a telescope, while the other seemingly steers a tiller. Untitled is an early study for Ship, 1997-1999, a large painting in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, that depicts a raucous maritime scene of fighting genitalia.

Christopher Wool “Untitled”, 1988 | Alkyd and flashe on aluminum, 96 x 72″ | David Winton Bell Gallery | Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Ostrow

“I became more interested in ‘how to paint it’ than ‘what to paint.’” [1]

Christopher Wool is well known for his large-scale, monochromatic paintings of appropriated floral patterns, bold texts, and frenzied, expressive layers of paint. On this towering eight-foot tall sheet of aluminum, the pattern imagery is obscure and inexact, but still recognizable as a decorative floral element. The expansive surface is completely flat because the painting medium, alkyd, was chemically burned onto the aluminum. In this way, the imagery cannot be physically removed from the material. In the catalogue to the Guggenheim Museum’s recent Wool retrospective, the artist Richard Prince notes, “it’s married to the surface like a vein in marble.” [2] Wool himself once described the process of making his rollered and patterned paintings, saying “an interesting friction [is] generated by putting forms that were supposed to be decorative in such severe terms.” By producing a visual image from the permanent destruction of the surface, Wool conceptually and physically declared the perpetuity of painting. To this end, he also confronts the critical discourse around the medium in the 1980s which suggested that painting was merely decorative. [3]

In 1989 Wool took part in a residency program at the Vicola della Penitenza in Rome curated by Barbara Gladstone. Over two years twelve notable artists were invited to Rome for two-month residencies, which would culminate with a group exhibition. Other artists included Michel Auder, Richard Prince, Thomas Struth, and Cindy Sherman, to name a few. Wool’s residency was situated between Franz West’s and Laurence Weiner’s. While there, Wool continued to experiment with patterned imagery and “cultural piracy”. [4] The works produced by this group were exhibited together for the first time at the David Winton Bell Gallery in 1993 in the exhibition The Rome Studio. The collection is a testament to the various ways a muse, in this case the city of Rome, can produce wildly diverse and captivating works.

View the piece in detail on our website:

– Liz Crawford, Curatorial Assistant


[1]Goldstein, Ann. “What they’re not: The Paintings of Christopher Wool.” In Christopher Wool. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998.

[2]Prince, Richard. “WOOLWLOOOLOWOOWLLOWOOWOLOOLWLOOW.” In Christopher Wool. New York: Guggenheim, 2013.

[3] Brinson, Katherine. “Trouble is my Business.” In  Christopher Wool. New York: Guggenheim, 2013.

[4] Brinson, Katherine. “Trouble is my Business.” In  Christopher Wool. New York: Guggenheim, 2013.


Here’s a sneak peak at the 250th Alumni Exhibition Part 2, featuring Sarah Morris, Rob Reynolds, and Taryn Simon! Artist Talks and opening are April 11th at 3pm and 6pm respectively.


Taryn Simon’s photograph The Central Intelligence Agency, Art, CIA Original Headquarters Building, Langley Virginia, 2003-2005, waiting to be hung in the lobby.



Rob Reynolds’ painting Untitled (Daylight 2), 2012, waiting to be uncrated.


Alice Neel, John Mollenkopf, 1970
Oil on canvas, 52 x 39 3/4
David Winton Bell Gallery, Gift of Dr. Hartley Neel 

Alice Neel, John Mollenkopf,1970

Considered “the Collector of Souls”, Neel’s numerous portrait subjects stretched across socioeconomic lines and featured a wide range of personalities.[1] Here, a young John Mollenkopf is depicted finely coiffed and barefoot at the age of twenty-four. Neel utilized warm, neutral, and grey tones throughout the canvas except for in painting Mollenkopf’s pupils where she chose a particularly cool and bright ice blue. This effect emphasizes Mollenkopf’s contemplative expression and reveals his cerebral persona.

Alice Neel was introduced to John Mollenkopf through her son Hartley and daughter-in-law Ginny Neel. “John and [his first wife] Cynthia used to visit us in Vermont and Alice painted John in our house here,” Ginny describes. “I think [Cynthia and John] met when John was getting his Phd at Harvard and Cynthia was at Harvard Law School.” Today, Mollenkopf is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Center for Urban Research at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.[2]

This painting was produced at a particularly fruitful time for Neel and marks the beginning of a rise in recognition for her work. Within the same year, Neel’s portrait of Kate Millett was featured on the cover of Time magazine, her son Hartley was married, and she painted Andy Warhol (a portrait once deemed her “masterpiece”).[3] Just a few years later, Neel had her first retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, showcasing fifty-eight of her portraits.[4]

Hartley Neel donated this painting to Brown University in 1995. His son, Andrew, is a documentary filmmaker. His daughter, Elizabeth, is a Brown alumna and practicing artist based out of New York City.

-Liz Crawford, Curatorial Assistant

[1] Mackenzie, Suzie. The Guardian, “Heroes and wretches.” Last modified 2004. Accessed January 22, 2014.

[2] Alice Neel Estate, “Alice Neel Biography.” Last modified 2013. Accessed January 22, 2014.

[3] Lewison, Jeremy. “Alice Neel Collector of Souls.”Moderna Musset, 2008. (accessed January 22, 2014).

[4] Ginny Neel, (Daughter-in-law), interview by Elizabeth Crawford, January 15, 2014.

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