Art & Architecture

Ep. 80 – Exploring Black Visual Satire

Tracing a historical line from commedia dell’arte, Hogarth and others to modern and contemporary artists including Ollie Harrington, Robert Colescott, Spike Lee, and Kara Walker, we discuss Black visual satire with Duke professor Richard J. Powell. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify |

Kerry James Marshall’s “SOB, SOB” and David Dabydeen’s Philosophical Aesthetics​

Abigail Zitin— I remember it being at eye level; else how would it have caught my eye? I had gone to see Mastry, an exhibition of works by the African-American painter Kerry James Marshall, at the Met Breuer in January 2017. The painting in question, like most of Marshall’s, is large: six feet

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What’s New? The Second Edition of Designing Type

Designing Type by Karen Cheng was originally published in 2006. The book met with immediate and enthusiastic acclaim, including: “While there are a number of historical studies of the relationship of letterforms and type design, none of them can be considered as thorough and instructive as Karen Cheng’s recent Designing Type.

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Our Days Are Like Full Years

On a winter day in 1953, a mysterious man in a sheepskin coat stood out to Harriet Pattison, then a theater student at Yale. She would later learn he was the architect Louis Kahn. This chance encounter served as preamble to a 15-year romance, with Pattison becoming the architect’s closest

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Viva Mexico! Artist Visionaries and Rabble-rousers: Los tres grandes and Their Impact on America

Interview with Whitney Museum of American Art curator Barbara Haskell by David Ebony    The Whitney Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking and visually sumptuous survey, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945, arrived during a contentious time in the U.S. It opened on February 17, 2020, a charged political moment

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Experiments with Truth: A Never-Ending Process

Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence was never intended to be a show about Gandhi, one of the most controversial and influential figures of the twentieth century, or the complex iconography that developed around his persona. His concept and ideal of nonviolence, however, continues to be deeply relevant

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A Personal Canon: Abigail McEwen on Five Influential Texts

Juan A. Martínez, Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters, 1927-1950 (1994) In his classic account of Cuba’s historic vanguardia generation, Martínez developed a social history of modern Cuban art that remains a standard reference today. Published fifty years after the seminal exhibition, Modern Cuban Painters (Museum of Modern Art, 1944),

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A 16th-Century Portuguese Plan of a Moroccan Palace

Jonathan Bloom– While writing my book Architecture of the Islamic West: North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, I came across a citation about a 16th-century annotated plan of the royal palace in Marrakesh.  It had been inserted into a manuscript in the Escorial written in 1585 by the Trinitarian friar

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Reflections on Africans in Gothic Sculpture, part 2

Images of Justice and Power Jacqueline E. Jung — In the choir of Magdeburg Cathedral, the black Saint Maurice, carved and painted around 1250, stands with his co-patron Catherine as complementary opposites; together they indicate the plenitude of this Christian ecclesia in both its Militant and Triumphant aspects. (Read more

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Marriage in the Movies of Stanley Kubrick

David Mikics— We usually don’t remember that Stanley Kubrick made movies about marriage, but he did. Three of his films center on a married couple, and all of them are masterpieces: Barry Lyndon, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick had half a century of experience of married life, and

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