FROM THE ART CRYPT: Richard Feigen is one of the foremost
dealers in Old Master paintings - and a famously difficult personality.
His new book illuminates some of the more shadowy corners of
the art world. "There is, for example, a scathing account
of the shenanigans several years ago at the Barnes Foundation,
the fabled museum outside Philadelphia, when trustees attempted
to sell off holdings in violation of its founder's will - an
attempt Feigen all but single-handedly scotched. Or there's
his comparing the exhibitions policy at New York's Metropolitan
Museum, with its 'random mixture of box-office frivolity with
serious art,' to 'a nice girl of good family who just once in
a while goes out and turns tricks for some pocket change.' "
By the time he died in
1992, author Alex Haley had amassed boxes of research for another
novel in the tradition of his "Roots" epic. His estate
went searching for a writer to take over the project, and came
up with a novelist who writes in the supernatural suspense genre
and is a former Miami Herald feature writer.
MOZART TO DISCOVER: At the age of 69, after a full career,
Alfred Brendel could certainly afford to ease up a bit. But
he's just discovered Mozart. "He still plays around 90
concerts a year - 90 repetitions of the experience he once described
as 'the sudden burst of sweat in a spasm of anxiety'. Last year
saw him performing in 53 towns and cities from Tokyo to Minnesota,
from New York to Plush, Dorset."
SERRA on art, museums and life: "I think basically
I'm not interested in people following my work or making work
like my work. But what does interest me is the notion that if
you do a lot of work it means there's a potential for other
people to understand that a lot of things are possible with
a sustained effort and that the broadening of experiences is
possible and I think that's all art can be."
After a long time in
the trenches, director Michael Blakemore scored big with a double
Tony win a few weeks ago. Now come the opportunities. "I've
turned down other offers in order to make the most of this while
I can," he says. "At my age, it would be stupid not
The Telegraph (London) 06/24/00
ON A HIGH NOTE:
Lofti Mansouri prepares
to retire from the helm of San Francisco Opera after next season,
and the tributes have already begun.
Los Angeles Times 06/25/00
CROWE AND A SIDE OF RIBS: Women
from all around the world are in a bidding frenzy, hoping to
get their hands on the much-coveted tickets to see Australian
actor Russell Crowe's band "Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts."
The concert will be held at Stubbs BBQ restaurant in Austin,
Texas - tickets are presently going for around $200 on internet
HOVANESS dies at age
89 in Seattle. The prolific American composer "embraced
melody in an atonal age and drew heavily on music of the East."
York Times 06/23/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
NANCY MARCHAND DIES in Stratford, Connecticut at age 71.
Broadway veteran and four-time Emmy Award winner for her role
on “Lou Grant,” Marchand was famous most recently as Livia Soprano
on “The Sopranos.” New
York Times 06/19/00
registration required for entry)
Al Hirschfeld turns 97 on Wednesday, and he’s still going strong,
regularly caricaturing the worlds of stage, dance, music, and
film. “I’m enchanted with line, what makes it work, how it communicates
recognition to the viewer,” roars the man they dubbed The Line
King. “That sounds like a ridiculous, insane kind of thing to
devote your life to, but that’s what I’ve done. I find it fascinating,
and I’m closer to a definition of it than when I started.” MSNBC
Scottish painter Jack Vettriano’s life story reads like Horatio
Alger: a miner’s son, he only started painting at 21 and was
rejected from art school repeatedly. But now he’s Britain’s
most commercially popular artist, with original work selling
for up to £40,000 and posters of his work outselling those of
DIRECTOR RESIGNS: John Walsh announced he will step down
this fall after heading the J. Paul Getty Museum for 17 years,
during which he broadened the Getty’s collections and oversaw
the museum’s transition to its lavish new Brentwood home two
years ago. Getty chief curator Deborah Gribbon will step into
Walsh’s position in September. New
Jersey Online (AP) 06/18/00
VON KARAJAN: Herbert
von Karajan made and sold more records than any other conductor
in history, he changed the way people listened to music, and
changed the public's expectations of a concert. But he was also
a problematic figure - autocratic and politically suspect. A
new biography attempts to wade through a sea of charged conceptions
about the man. Boston
JACOB LAWRENCE: "His body of work tapped great social
and philosophical themes, captured the economic and racial ruptures
and shifts that have defined our culture and, amazingly enough,
found beauty in struggle."
OF ART, PART I: Britain's Prince Charles and Saudi Prince
Khalid Al-Faisal have joined up for a joint exhibition of their
recent paintings in London. Thirty recent watercolours by
Charles and 26 oil paintings by the Saudi Prince are going on
Evening Standard 06/11/00
OF ART, PART II:
William will study art history in Edinburgh after taking a
London Evening Standard 06/11/00
Jane Alexander began her
term as head of the National Endowment for the Arts with optimism.
Her new book shows that by the time she left the NEA, her "health,
idealism and forbearance all suffered. She gripes about flying
coach. She complains that the government won’t pay to move her
back to New York. 'The system is so corrupt that it may never
be fixed,' she concludes, sweepingly."
Plain Dealer 06/11/00
COMPLICATED LIFE: Author
Martin Amis at age 50 has
gotten around to explaining his life in a new memoir. "
'Experience' is an astonishing memoir, and destined to be imitated
by self-chroniclers looking to escape the confines of chronology."
Plain Dealer 06/11/00
JACOB LAWRENCE dies in Seattle. He was 82. "Lawrence
rose to fame in 1941 after creating one of the most original
and forceful series of narrative works in the history of American
art - the 'Migration of the Negro.' "
Seattle Post-Intelligencer 06/10/00
DIES: Pop artist George
Segal dies in New Jersey at age 75. CBC
"He had a very sophisticated and deep understanding of
people and expressed that through his sculpture." Newsweek
NAGANO named principal conductor of the Los Angeles Opera
Los Angeles Times 06/09/00
CHIEFS: Chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada
to take chief curator job at New York's Frick.
THAN JUST STRANGE: Pianist Glenn Gould was renowned both
for his talent and for his eccentric performance habits, which
included rocking back and forth, humming loudly, and conducting
to himself during concerts. Now the director of the music division
at Canada’s National Library says evidence shows Gould suffered
from Asperger’s syndrome, a kind of autism. “I went 'Bingo.'
I'd suspected for a long time that this was more than just a
FAMILY BUSINESS: Neeme Jaarvi and his sons Paavo and Kristjan
are founding something of a family dynasty - all three Estonian
conductors are now music directors of American orchestras. The
Age (AP) 06/08/00
CELEBRITY WHO PAINTS: Joni Mitchell has gotten rich and
famous as a pop singer. But even though music has paid the bills,
she considers herself a painter. "All through this,"
she relates in an exclusive interview, "I have always thought
of myself as a painter derailed by circumstance." Now she
has a show in Canada. Toronto
Globe and Mail 06/08/00
ART OF ALOHA: The man who invented the "Aloha"
shirt (way back in 1931) has died. "The Aloha shirt is
the ultimate expression of delighted creativity. You can't help
but feel good when you're wearing an Aloha shirt."
Washington Post 06/08/00
DIPLOMAT MAGICIAN: Any
sign that North Korea willing to open its doors and forsake
its Stalinist, bomb-making ways? It seems there is one man who
has appealed to their softer side: magician David Copperfield.
Two North Korean diplomats recently journeyed to Las Vegas to
catch one of his shows, and invited Copperfield to perform in
Pyongyang. "The man of secrets and the men from a country
of secrets got along well." The
New Republic 06/12/00
may be on his way out as director of the Philadelphia Orchestra,
but he's got a remarkable thing going in Philadelphia. "Although
orchestra players traditionally complain about anyone who wields
a baton, Sawallisch seems to inspire consistent affection from
the orchestra, even amid observations that age has robbed his
baton technique of some precision. But the mind behind the technique
has gained precision."
THE WORLD SAFE FOR ARTS FUNDING:
As do most ex-chairpeople
of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Alexander has written
a book about her experience running the American public arts
funder. "From her coy pose on the cover, to the last desperate
Shakespeare quotation, Jane Alexander has...produced a stunning
argument for saving trees. This account of her tenure as chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993 to 1997, unfortunately
reads like a high school student's account of a summer abroad.
FRAME: Eccentric Englishman
Eadweard Muybridge discovered the photographic system that would
revolutionize scientific understanding and the process for naturalist
art. Was this dedicated craftsmen "a mad scientist,
promoting his lab experiments as photographic art? Or was he
an artistic opportunist, using science to gratify his flair
for fantasy?" Civilization
NEED YOU TO HELP SELL THE TICKETS:" Nina Simone sits
for an interview and answers every question with a plea to help
sell tickets. The tour) "hasn't been doing too good. We
need you to help sell the tickets."
Boston Herald 06/06/00
ADAMS RETURNS TO LONDON: John Adams has become one of America's
most popular, widely performers and accomplished composers.
"Outgrowing the hypnotic drone of minimalism, he has taken
on the classical tradition and annexed its august forms. It's
native bravado, not arrogance, which makes Adams measure himself
against Verdi or compare his own dramaturgy with Shakespeare's.
LEGACY TO THE NEW YORK PHIL:
There's been so much talk
recently about who will be the New York Philharmonic's next
music director, Kurt Masur, the NYP's current leader has been
a bit forgotten. That's a mistake. The 72-year-old Mr. Masur,
who has done so much to restore the orchestra to a lofty international
standard of performance since taking it over in 1991, is to
remain in place for two more seasons.
York Times 06/04/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
DOMINGO DAY: "The list of the tenor's accomplishments
— as singer, conductor, opera Intendant (in Washington, D.C.,
and, starting this summer, in Los Angeles) and restaurateur
— is unrivaled in today's opera world; and for a vocalist who,
officially, turns 60 this year, his longevity is nothing less
than astonishing." San
Francisco Examiner 06/04/00
Kurt Weill is seen as a
composer who lost his way in America, who sold his artistic
birthright for the pottage of commercial success. But today
Weill's embrace of popular music seems prophetic rather than
opportunistic. When so much classical music aspires to the condition
of pop, Weill - the first classical composer to reject high
for low - seems a model of crossover. The
HAY ON "ARTISTIC BANKRUPTCY": Lars Von Trier isn't
a director, he's a Happening. Picking up the top prize at Cannes
only inflamed his supporters and critics. For some, "Dancer
in the Dark" confirmed the flamboyant 44-year-old Dane
as a posturing charlatan. "The director's work is undoubtedly
ambitious and original, and he has an ardent band of followers.
But for many he remains as specious as the fake aristocratic
Von he has attached to his name." The
Telegraph (London) 06/02/00