WITH THE LAW: Crispo, a Manhattan art dealer who was "acquitted
in a 1980s sex-torture case was sentenced to seven years in
prison on Wednesday for threatening to kidnap a lawyer's daughter
in an attempt to get money from a bankruptcy trustee."
TO DANTO: Arthur Danto is a prominent philosopher as well
as art critic for The Nation. "Philosophers, at least in
theory, are seekers after truth. Truth, the poet says, is beauty.
Thus it makes perfect sense that Danto, who philosophizes by
day, should moonlight as one of America's best-known art critics."
MAN’S MUSIC… Nearly 30 years after his composing debut,
Steve Reich’s music still receives tumultuous receptions wherever
its performed, splitting audiences between those who hear genius
and others who just hear noise. “’Minimalist’ is a label he
hates but how else to describe his music, much of which involves
a great deal of repetition? Think of Andy Warhol with his repeated
pictures of Campbell's soup tins and translate that visual image
into sound. The
Herald (Glasgow) 08/30/00
ART OF NOT KNOWING:
An interview with American art legend Robert Rauschenberg who,
at age 74, is still creating, improvising, and expounding freely
on “the way a serendipitist works.” “For me, art shouldn't be
a fixed idea that I have before I start making it. I want it
to include all the fragility and doubt that I go through the
day with. Sometimes I'll take a walk just to forget whatever
good idea I had that day because I like to go into the studio
not having any ideas. I want the insecurity of not knowing.”
York Times 08/27/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
BIRTHDAY: This week is the 100th anniversary of the birth
of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He easily makes the Top
Ten list of philosophers, and even has a degree of name recognition
among the general public. "So where are the Nietzsche symposiums,
the exhibitions, the 900-page reassessments? Where are the T-shirts?"
Globe and Mail 08/24/00
TO PIERRE BOULEZ: "To those who whine, who doubt his
importance to our times and to the future - a warning. To Boulez
we owe the most influential musical changes of our lifetime
- as a conductor, composer, educator, programme planner and
superior being, he has embraced an international state of artistic
achievement, and wrestled, built and triumphed on all our behalfs.
He has educated a whole generation of musicians - and happily,
ecstatically even, it was mine - evangelising for rhythm and
form over mere miasma of sound or texture, and has been bold
for all who would be creative, insisting on rigour in intellect,
opinion, art and its practice."
The Scotsman 08/23/00
SON? "Leonardo da Vinci may have fathered a son, a
finding that blurs the image of Leonardo as a gay icon, according
to a scholar investigating the master's family life."
SPEAKS: About taxes, about his new young companion, about
his weight - "I am very chubby. I make a competition for
very young singers. If someone comes out who is chubby like
me, he must sing like a god."
Franz Welser-Möst survived his six-year tenure as conductor
of the London Philharmonic - but just barely. Installed as music
director at age 29, he made sweeping (and unpopular) changes,
saw three managing directors unseated in his six years,
and was dubbed “Frankly Worse Than Most” by his critics.
Now, four years after his departure, he’s back on top - head
of Zurich Opera, and about to take on the Cleveland - and finally
able to reflect on his difficult past. The
Telegraph (London) 08/16/00
HISTORY: "Alicia Markova, a living legend not only
of British ballet, but of 20th-century civilisation. This is
the body that Matisse drew black squiggles down for his costume
for her in Rouge et Noir. This skin was rubbed down by the immortal
Pavlova with her personal eau de cologne. This musical mind
was guided as a child by Stravinsky and Balanchine."
The Telegraph (London) 08/13/00
THE GETTY: Getty Museum director John Walsh says goodbye
after 17 years. "Walsh arrived a year after the Getty Trust
received its fortune. As the endowment has grown from $1.2 billion
to $5 billion, the Getty Museum has not only spent huge sums
on its collections, but also beefed up educational programs,
developed what Walsh says is now the best publishing program
of any museum in the world and built the new facility at the
Los Angeles Times 08/13/00
WILSON has a new theatre project. "Mr. Wilson is probably
the most prolific theater artist in the world. An astonishingly
tireless man who presents premieres of 8 to 12 new projects
each year in an array of far-flung countries, he directs, designs
the sets, co-designs the lighting and usually choreographs them
all. He also organizes an army of loyal acolytes in the presentation
of twice as many touring productions of older shows throughout
the world. He estimates that he spends 10 days a year at his
apartment in New York."
York Times 08/13/00 (one-time
registration required for entry)
MODERN: Nicholas Serota is smiling. And why not? Serota,
director of the Tate Museum, is "one of the handful of
culture gurus who have persuaded conservative Britons to cast
aside their instinctual suspicion of modern art. Serota has,
with Tate Modern, simultaneously catapulted Britain to the forefront
of the international contemporary art world, up there with New
York's MOMA and the Pompidou in Paris."
Los Angeles Times 08/09/00
JERRY HALL'S NUDE SCENE: "Without my stopwatch on the
night, I had to resort to the trusted old method of counting
seconds, muttering "One elephant . . . two elephants .
. . three elephants," and so on. By the time I reached
the fifth elephant, my neighbours in the stalls were pushing
me under my seat and sitting on my head to shut me up, because
they thought my comments would upset Mick Jagger, who was in
the audience." Sydney
Morning Herald 08/09/00
ALEC GUINNESS dies at age 86. The
Age (Melbourne) 08/07/00
"He was one of the last surviving members of a great
generation of UK actors, which included Sir Laurence Olivier,
Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Mills."
IN TIMES SQUARE: Frank Sinatra never actually performed
in a Broadway show, but he starred in a couple of movie versions
of Broadway classics. Now plans are underway to erect a statue
to Old Blue Eyes in Times Square.
JESSYE NORMAN: "She is 54 now, and past her vocal prime.
Time has accentuated her tendency to sing sharp, and the sheer
brazen splendour of the sound she once produced is irrecoverably
tarnished. As if to compensate, she has developed a grand manner
on the platform - complete with radiant smiles, gracious waves
and a rapt pose suggesting fervent prayer to the Almighty -
which forcibly brings to mind the Irish adage of 'all gong and
The Telegraph (London) 08/06/00
SANTA FE: After 43 years John Crosby is stepping down from
running the Santa Fe Opera. "A first-rate visionary and
a second-rate conductor, Crosby has run his festival like a
reasonably benign dictator, amassing an extraordinary record
of significant premieres to counterbalance the tourist-attraction
repertory. He has done much to cultivate domestic exposure to
the neglected operas of his favourite composer, Richard Strauss,
and has also helped discover several generations of important
American singers. Glyndebourne was never like this."
Financial Times 08/03/00
AN EXPAT'S EYES: Tom Freudenheim, a Jewish American and
former director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, has decided to
stay in Germany after stepping down from his museum post. His
views on antisemitism in Germany, the Holocaust Memorial, and
differences between the arts in the U.S. and Germany. Die
MAXWELL DIED at age 91 on Monday. Accomplished novelist
and revered editor at the “New Yorker” for 40 years, Maxwell
honed the prose of some of this century’s finest American writers,
J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and Harold Brodkey among them.
INTERVIEW WITH STANLEY KUNITZ, the new U.S. poet laureate.
First published more than 70 years ago, Kunitz, now 95, has
won almost every poetry award (including the Nobel in 1959 to
the National Book Award in 1995), although he’s only published
a handful of books. “I write poems only when I cannot escape
them, when it is so urgent I will sacrifice everything else
to do it.” A new Kunitz collection is due out next year.
[Real audio file]
PLACES YOU'LL GO: Nine years after the real Dr. Seuss died,
the good doctor's work makes a comeback - a new movie, new musical,
even a couple of new books. "Altogether, not a bad comeback
for a man who worked in a variety of advertising, film and magazine
cartooning jobs well into his 50s, when he finally achieved
literary stardom with his back-to-back children's books Cat
and Grinch (1957). His middle name was Seuss - or was it Mischief?"
Toronto Globe and Mail 08/02/00
ROMEO AND JULIET: The opera singers Marijana Mijanovic and
Kresimir Spicer are “the couple of the summer,” having thrilled
audiences at Aix-en-Provence’s popular summer opera festival.
“But it is also because they are a real-life Romeo and Juliet:
she is a Serb, he is a Croat, and they live together in Amsterdam.
York Times 08/02/00
BEL MARCELLO: A salute to Marcello Mastroianni, on the eve
of the UK’s National Film Theatre’s major retrospective of 22
of his movies. “Nowadays, if you want to sum up Italian style,
that sinuous Italian charm that is so easy on the ear and eye,
then it's usually Mastroianni who comes to mind.”
Guardian (London) 08/01/00