Saturday, February 26, 2011
One of the unavoidable realities of going to look at art in a museum is the feeling that you the viewer are being viewed yourself—especially by your fellow patrons. In the current issue of Paper Monument: A Journal of Contemporary Art, Timothy Aubry muses on “How to Behave in an Art Museum.” Aubry wonders what the proper balance of informality and formality might be, and if the typical American is capable of finding that proper balance. As much as adults, especially parents, try to tether children in museums, maybe we have something to learn from how children see the art, see themselves, and behave. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Let the Little Children."
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Aix-en-ProvenceMetropolitan Museum of Art in New York brings together May 8, 2011, brings the “full house” of this subject and invites us to join in the game of painting [Image: The Card Players, 1890–1892. Oil on canvas. 25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (65.4 x 81.9 cm). Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.] (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence).
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In Death of the Liberal Class, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges argues that liberals have “conceded too much to the power elite.” In other words, traditional liberal institutions such as education, religion, labor, and the arts have stopped challenging corporate powers and, instead, joined them. It’s a powerful and often depressing argument, especially when Hedges probes fields usually condemned for their “liberal” and “revolutionary” tendencies, such as art. Hedges raises the old question of what is art in a different way, asking if art is creative expressions that free the mind, what do we call creative works that support the status quo? Junk, Hedges would most likely answer, giving some surprising examples of famous “junk men” in American art. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Junk Man."
Sunday, February 20, 2011
“Satire works by inference,” cartoonist G.B. Trudeau says in Brian Walker’s new book Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau. “What you condemn should reveal what you value, what you stand for. That’s why I don’t like categoric, 360-degree attacks. Scorched-earth artists leave no room for hope.” Since its debut on October 26, 1970, Doonesbury has attracted devotees as well as devoted critics with Trudeau’s heart-on-his-sleeve liberalism. Walker walks through the evolution of the Doonesbury, which began in 28 newspapers and now boasts 100 million daily readers, and gives not a biography of Trudeau but rather a biography of the life of the strip itself. Despite all the wars—cultural and shooting—of the past four decades, Trudeau never forgot to leave room for hope, and Walker’s affectionate tribute reminds us of that crowning achievement of his art. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Room for Hope."
[Many thanks to Yale University Press for providing me with a review copy of Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau by Brian Walker.]