Author Posts

Art Can Help

Since taking up photography in the mid-1960s, Robert Adams (b. 1937) has quietly become one of the most influential visual chroniclers of the evolving American landscape. Before turning full-time to photography in the 1970s, Adams was a literature professor, and in a recently published collection of inspiring essays, he reminds

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“Undoing a building” with Gordon Matta-Clark

Antonio Sergio Bessa– In his foreword to the 2007 Whitney catalogue, museum director Adam Weinberg wrote with great insight that Gordon Matta-Clark’s work “resisted commodification and the museum context.” I would add that to counter the tendency to commodify, the experiential element in presenting his work is of utmost importance. 

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Paul Gauguin as Artist and Alchemist

The exhibition “Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist,” which was on view this summer at the Art Institute of Chicago, was called “exhaustive and exhilarating” in the Wall Street Journal and a “resounding, rollickingly diverse exhibition” in the New York Times. It wowed visitors with an unprecedented exploration of Gauguin’s works in various

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Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900

During the second half of the nineteenth century, a remarkable number and variety of women artists were drawn to Paris.  Featuring thirty-seven women from eleven different countries, a new, beautiful, and important illustrated book, Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900, explores the strength of their creative achievements, and pays tribute to these pioneers

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First encounters: Marfa, Texas and the art of Donald Judd

David Raskin — I first traveled to Marfa, Texas for the Chinati Foundation and Judd Estate (now the Judd Foundation) open houses in October 1995, about a year and a half after Donald Judd’s death in February 1994. Marfa wasn’t yet at the top of the art world’s “must visit”

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A Jar’s Story

Glenn Adamson — “Keep the Corean pot in memory.” With those words, the great potter Bernard Leach imparted one of his most treasured possessions to another great potter, Lucie Rie, in February 1947. The object in question was a Moon Jar – so named for its whiteness and nearly perfect

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Alternative Facts, in Historical Perspective

Joshua Shannon– From its very first days, the Trump administration and its supporters have sought to justify certain statements, proposals, and actions (and indeed to assert Trump’s popularity) by issuing lies or falsehoods labeled “alternative facts.” The term was first offered, and then defended, by Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway, in

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A Maya Child’s Tale: The Origin of the Sun

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos— In his field diary entry of October 30, 1960, ethnographer Marcelo Díaz de Salas wrote down a brief story that he’d been told by Miguelito, a young boy about 11 years old, in the Tzotzil Maya village of Venustiano Carranza (located in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico):

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Of Peaches, Pears, and Politics

Patricia Mainardi– Traviès’s 1831 lithograph shows a man gesturing towards a display of caricatures while saying “You have to admit that the head of state looks pretty funny”. It could serve as a banner for all political cartooning, an art that is at its best in difficult times. Simply put,

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An interview with Dana Miller, curator of Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Ivy Sanders Schneider– Carmen Herrera, who will celebrate her 102nd birthday this year, is finally a household name. Born in Havana, Cuba, Herrera has lived and worked in New York for over sixty years, but sold her first piece of art in 2002. She had her first major retrospective last

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