David Ebony and ARTbooks

The Legacy of Black Mountain College—An Experiment in Higher Education: Interview with Ruth Erickson by David Ebony

David Ebony— In the mid 1930s, the years leading up to World War II, America’s great socialist moment was underway. New Deal programs like the Works Progress Administration employed thousands in arts, architecture, theater, literature and the media, who transformed the country’s cultural landscape forever. This dynamic spirit carried over

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Illuminating the Ethereal—Mark Rothko’s Work from His Son’s Point of View: Interview with Christopher Rothko by David Ebony

David Ebony— Renowned for his incandescent abstract paintings of ethereal space and light, Mark Rothko is certainly one of the giants of twentieth century art. Along with fellow Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Rothko made a monumental contribution to American post-war painting. Now occupying a rather mythic

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Fluid Lines, Idealized Forms—The Art of Martin Puryear: Interview with Mark Pascale by David Ebony

David Ebony— How important is drawing for a sculptor? Among the most subtle of contemporary American abstract sculptors, Martin Puryear has produced elegant and sometimes astonishing drawings and prints over the past fifty years. The two-dimensional works often correspond to his sculptures, but they are not mere studies for 3-D

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Laura McPhee’s Exceptional Photos of Calcutta

If you are in or near New York City – or plan to be over the next week – you have the marvelous opportunity to see photographs taken in Calcutta by Laura McPhee at The Benrubi Gallery in Chelsea.  And – it gets better – you have two chances to

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Multimedia Masquerade—Masks and Disguise in Contemporary Art: Interview with Pamela McClusky by David Ebony

David Ebony— As Performa 15, the performance art biennial, gets underway this week in New York, on the West Coast, Los Angeles’s Fowler Museum at UCLA hosts “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art,” an extraordinary look at the use of masks in contemporary performance art, sculpture, photography, installation and video.

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In Bed with the Avant-Garde—The Peggy Guggenheim Story: Interview with Francine Prose by David Ebony

David Ebony— An eccentric heiress with an all-consuming passion for avant-garde art and artists, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) just happened to change the course of 20th-century art during her tumultuous lifetime. She befriended, sometimes bedded, and often financially supported some of the most important artists and writers of her day. She

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Total Surface—Barnett Newman’s Late Work: Interviews with Michelle White and Bradford A. Epley by David Ebony

David Ebony— A latecomer to the art scene, Barnett Newman (1905-1970) held his first solo show in 1948, at New York’s Betty Parsons Gallery. He made a formidable impact on the art world when he introduced in that show the controversial works for which he is best known today. Decried

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“Three Stars Shine Brightly at the 56th Venice Biennale: Joan Jonas, Sarah Lucas, and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot” by David Ebony

Our special correspondent David Ebony is recently returned from Venice where he took in the sights and sounds of the Biennale, and was generous enough to share his reactions with us. David Ebony— Ever controversial, the Venice Biennale is the largest and arguably the most important exhibition of contemporary art on the

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Avant-Garde Art on TV—The Early Days of Television: Interview with Maurice Berger by David Ebony

David Ebony— The advent of affordable television sets in the late 1940s and ’50s, and network television programming aimed to enthrall the masses, arguably had the most significant cultural impact on the planet since the invention of movable type. The powerful new medium quickly became the primary source of news,

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Diego and Frida in the Motor City: Interview with Mark Rosenthal

David Ebony— From the late 1920s through the 1930s, Mexican artists Diego Rivera (1886-1957), and his wife Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), were one of the most famous art-world power couples on the planet. At the time, Rivera was internationally recognized for his monumental public murals featuring poignant socialist themes. Kahlo at

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