Saturday, April 30, 2011
One of the biggest debates inside the world of art criticism and scholarship is whether art, especially world art, can be understood without the idea of culture. In the debut issue of the scholarly journal World Art, John Onians surveys the landscape of the divide between those who still hold that culture remains key in understanding art and those who base their perception of art on human nature and the natural environment in which the art was produced. As the world gets smaller and, more importantly, as we more frequently crash into one another, the answer to the question of culture versus nature might allow us not only to understand the art of others, but also to understand the people who make them. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can We Understand Art Outside of Culture?"
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Our century now lays claim to our own Shakespeare—a 21st century Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s on Twitter, on Facebook, and even on Second Life, just like any modern producer and consumer of social media. But as much as we want a shiny, new Shakespeare just like us, 21st century Shakespeare looks a lot like 19th century Shakespeare. No matter how we want to shake the Romantics, we’re all still their children. Take away the Tweets and the Facebook updates, and our Shakespeare resembles their Shakespeare, especially in how artists saw him and depicted his creations. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Why 21st Century Shakespeare Still Looks Like 19th Century Shakespeare."
[Image: Robert Thew after Henry Fuseli. Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus and the Ghost. Published 29 September 1796. Stipple engraving on paper, 500 x 635 mm.]
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
In the midst of another April’s Poetry Month, it’s worth considering how closely the sister arts of verbal poetry and visual poetry can be. The almost symbiotic relationship of British poet Ted Hughes and American artist Leonard Baskin that gave birth to beautiful, complex works such as the illustrated poetry collection Crow: From the Life and the Songs of the Crow shows just how powerful that relationship can be when the right elements are in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, photographer and documentarian Noel Chanan was also in the right place at the right time to capture this relationship for posterity in The Artist and the Poet: Leonard Baskin & Ted Hughes in Conversation 1983. In what Chanan calls “an unrehearsed dialogue” between the two friends and collaborators held one day in Baskin’s studio in 1983 when Chanan turned on a tape recorder and let the magic happen, we witness the true meaning of the term “soulmates,” in which two artistic souls in different media find common ground and inspire one another to greater heights. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Soulmates: The Collaboration of Leonard Baskin and Ted Hughes."
[Many thanks to Noel Chanan for providing the images above and a review copy of The Artist and the Poet: Leonard Baskin & Ted Hughes in Conversation 1983.]