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How To Create An Art-Lover

While at the Guggenheim Museum yesterday, seeing Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim, I witnessed an awesome sight–but it wasn’t the art. It was a little girl, still in a stroller, with a sketchbook in hand, attempting to copy a painting by Bonnard. Her mother (presumably) was sitting nearby, but the girl was working on her […]

Kusama Exhibit Is A Wow–And More

Yayoi Kusama is one of those artists whose work is easy to love. Although she made it (or much of it) as therapy for herself–beset from early on with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide–her works come across to viewers as exuberant and bedazzling. And in many cases, fun–even as they are thought-provoking. Last […]

What A Way To Go! Fantasy Coffins from Africa

It may be summer, but it’s school days at Jack Shainman Gallery in Kinderhook, and the revelation this year is–fantasy coffins. These fascinating works, three made by a Ghanaian artist named Paa Joe, are unlike most you’ve ever seen. They’re the centerpiece of The School‘s summer exhibition, which opened Saturday (June 24). Called abebuu adekai, […]

A New American Home for Italian Contemporary Art

There’s a new kid on the art block in the Hudson River Valley–Magazzino, in Cold Spring, about an hour and 45 minutes north of New York City. I went up to attend its opening on Saturday and made a trip, too, to Jack Shainman Gallery’s The School, further up the Hudson Valley in Kinderhook. The […]

Too Much Contemporary? Too Little What Came Before?

That is a prospect we–American consumers of art exhibitions–face, and it is that subject and its consequences for our culture that I take up in an opinion piece published this morning on Aeon, the digital magazine that covers science, philosophy and society as well as the arts. The headline is Why does contemporary art make […]

Dan Weiss Announced As Met’s CEO: Initial Thoughts

My initial reaction to this morning’s announcement from the Metropolitan Museum*–that Daniel H. Weiss is now President and Chief Executive Officer, with the TBD director reporting to him–is skepticism. I’ve got nothing against Weiss. I don’t know him. But as a long-time student of corporate governance and museum governance, I don’t think this particular arrangement is […]

A Masterpiece That Needs More Attention

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published my latest entry in its Saturday Masterpiece column, about Enguerrand Quarton’s Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and all I can say is that we picked the right artwork this time, for sure, based on the feedback I’ve received so far. Many people–not art historians, of course, but art lovers nonetheless–have told […]

Discovery At The National Gallery

While I was in London recently (returning before the latest terror attack, thank God), I stopped in at the National Gallery to see its marvelous exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano, which–for the first time, apparently–united the work of these two artists. Michelangelo helped Sebastiano immensely, giving him ideas and even drawings, at least partly to win him […]

That Feast of St. Roch? It’s A Milestone in Contemporary Art

Tipped off by none other than Philippe de Montebello, who read my review of Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe, I learned a fascinating fact about one of the pictures in the exhibition: Canaletto’s The Procession on the Feast Day of Saint Roch is a milestone for contemporary art. If you look closely at the painting, […]

Mistaken At The Getty, And Grateful About It

I’ve been out to the Getty twice in recent months, both times to see (and review) interesting, ambitious exhibitions–one piece, about Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe, will be in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal (and is online, in its slightly longer version, now), and the other, for Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena, […]

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