an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Color Wins The Day At the Cooper-Hewitt

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color, now on view, is exactly the kind of exhibition I expect and like to see from the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum–which, frankly, came as a bit of a surprise. Since the Cooper Hewitt reopened in 2014 after a three-year renovation,  it has been a bit of a […]

My Art Encounter With Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, who died this week, was not exactly a favorite person in the art world (or the literary world, for that matter). In a modern era, he was a throwback, a man who preferred realism of a particular kind. And on that score, I have a little story to tell about Wolfe.  Back in 2006, […]

A Little Masterpiece in Central Asia

There are many reasons to visit Uzbekistan, which I did last fall. As usual, I brought back a Masterpiece column for The Wall Street Journal. It describes and explains the Samanid Mausoleum in Bukhara. The little structure not only survived the 13th Century marauder Ghengis Khan but also many earthquakes and other natural shifts: now […]

Is TEFAF New York A Success? UPDATED

That depends on how you measure success. There was a lot of doubt and even some worry that TEFAF, the world’s best art fair, would not be able to make a go of it here in New York, or that if it did somehow do that, the main fair in Maastricht would suffer. After two […]

Egypt: Breaking New Ground–Underwater

Like Gold, Picasso and Impressionism, Egypt has generally been a sure-fire subject for art museums. But, you may think, you know the story–basically. An exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum will make you think again. Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds, a traveling show that has previously been shown at the British Museum, in Paris and […]

Homer And His Unique Way of Seeing

Winslow Homer has always been a complicated artist, and now he will be viewed as an even more complicated one. What’s going to do that is an exhibition opening in June at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting.  There’s a great backstory to the […]

ICYMI: Art Is Better Than…

Sex, food, drugs, art–are they all the same? Do they provide the same kind of pleasure and engagement? No, says Julia F. Christensen, a neuroscientist at the Warburg Institute, University of London. She says–and I seriously hope she is correct–that art engages the brain in a special way that can “help overwrite the detrimental effects […]

Why Max Hollein Was Inevitable as Met’s Director

Put yourself in the position of a member of the Metropolitan Museum’s search committee: Despite all the pressure to choose anyone but another white male–somewhat wrong-headed pressure, imho–I think you’d have picked Max Hollein (at left) to be the next director of the museum too. For many reasons–as I will outline. I’ve commented favorably and […]

Getting Picasso Right: You Think It’s Easy?

In London a few weeks back, I was fortunate to be there on the day of the press preview for Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at the Tate Modern. You might think. at first, that doing a Picasso show is easy–few artists have better name recognition  and for a long time, Picasso was like gold, […]

TEFAF Maastricht: Changing, But the Same

The world’s best art fair–Tefaf Maastricht. whose 275 participating galleries show the art of seven millennia, all told–got underway last Thursday, as usual. Fair organizers are keen to point out what’s different this year: for example, a smaller by-invitation-only crowd on its annual day of free-flowing food and drink, and another by-invitation only access day […]

an ArtsJournal blog