New American Paintings published its 100th issue this month. The magazine, which started out in 1994, according to editor Steven Zevitas, as “a Sunday painter Provincetown book,” is now a handsome, handy, and necessary resource for anyone who wants to keep an eye on the painting scene in the U.S. today. Thousands of artists apply each year to be included in the publication, which calls itself a “juried exhibition-in-print.” Museum curators make the selections for each of six issues (five regional mags and an MFA annual), and every artist gets four pages – three for art, one for a bio. There are also a few editor’s choices in the back of the book. “This is not about your resume,” Zevitas says. “It’s about your work.”
Zevitas’s self-named gallery is also on the rise, with a growing presence on the international art fair circuit. “When I get off on an artist’s work, it’s an artist who has taken a subject, a formal means at their disposal, and their skill, and combined them in such a way that the content is inevitable,” he says.
Recent shows by Jered Sprecher, David X. Levine, and Andrew Masullo (whose paintings were included in this year’s Whitney Biennial) convey something of Zevitas’s taste. Largely abstract, there’s something deliberate, dissonant, and naked about these artists’ works. Other artists in the gallery’s stable — Ann Toebbe, Julie Miller, Jacob el Hanani — make mind-bendingly obsessive drawings and paintings.
“I love working with artists. I love making business decisions with them,” Zevitas says. “Having a stable of artists is like being a therapist sometimes.”