Matisse Show At Tate Modern Breaks Attendance Records

Henri Matisse The Parakeet and the Mermaid

“Newly published figures showed that Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs received 562,622 visitors, surpassing the Matisse Picasso exhibition of 2002, the previous record holder at 467,166, and the Damien Hirst exhibition of 2012, with 463,087.” (The show opens at MoMA in New York next month.)

Netflix Launches In France, Beginning European Expansion


Despite opposition from French telecom providers worried about competition l’exception culturelle, Netflix began service in France this week, with Germany and Belgium being added later this month. The company has a partnership with one large French ISP (Bouygues) and has already commissioned one original French series.

Adulthood Is Not Dying In American Culture – It’s Just Starting To Bloom

adulthood ohehir

Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White – “Each of these tragic exemplars of ‘adulthood’ is destroyed exactly because of his failure to behave like an adult. … In the main they are frauds who merely assume the trappings of ‘adulthood’ in order to participate in a society that would reject them if it knew the truth. … It’s not to do with having ‘killed off all the grown-ups’ as [A.O.] Scott has it: quite the contrary. It’s adulthood defined for the audience by its very absence on the screen.”

A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses

feeling of control

“The ability to delay gratification has been held up as the one character trait to rule them all – the key to academic success, financial security, and social well-being. … Which lends a kind of overpowering weight to the question: If self-control is so important, how are we supposed to achieve it?” Sheer willpower, it’s turning out, isn’t the best approach.

Frozen In Time? Is Dance Stunted By Attempts To Label It?


“Just when the dance world has become so stimulating with its jumble of influences from all over the world, and when classical ballet and contemporary dance are criss-crossing in interesting ways, we have recently seen announcements for two major initiatives that stake out claims for a certain kind of dance—a limited kind of dance that is easy to name.”

Google Art Project Is A Threat To Museums? Absolutely Not

google art project

“Some critics complain that Google’s initiative to take us on virtual trips through museums and to show us great pieces of art on demand, as we sit gazing at our laptops, will discourage people from actually going to these institutions. This is flatly untrue. Museum attendance is on the rise, dramatically so.”

Another Worry About Scottish Independence: Talent Might Stampede South

scottish independence talent

“Scots who consider themselves to be artists living in the land of their birth are increasingly uneasy about the instrumentalism of all this, how the arts are fine as long as they earn, and as long as it’s seen as definitively Scottish. … That’s okay while when there’s still an enthusiastic cultural traffic between Scotland and the rest of the UK, but the Scot Nats want to end it on Thursday.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 09.15.14

What is this thing called meaning?
AJBlog: We The Audience | Published 2014-09-15

Answer to the Ever-Present False Dichotomy About Museums
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-09-16

The revolution will not be staged
AJBlog: Performance Monkey | Published 2014-09-15

Adoring the impossible
AJBlog: About Last Night | Published 2014-09-15

Meet the Smithsonian’s Incoming Secretary: Jazz Flutist David Skorton (with video)
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-09-15


Bill Cosby’s Work Is Never Done


“[He] surely has neither the time nor the need to do anything he doesn’t want to do. What he does want to do, even now [at age 77], is comedy: he performs about a hundred times a year, mainly on weekends, following an itinerary that often leads him into what promoters call tertiary markets, where fans are not just happy to be able to see him in person but surprised, too.”

When Frankfurt School Philosophers Examine Pop Culture

frankfurt school

Theodor Adorno, on an LA Times astrology column that advised, “Accept all invitations.”: “The consummation of this trend is the obligatory participation in official ‘leisure-time activities’ in totalitarian countries.” Alex Ross considers how Adorno and Walter Benjamin “were pioneers in thinking critically about pop culture – in taking that culture seriously as an object of scrutiny.”

What Keeps Al Pacino Running?

al pacino

“I believe I have not reached my stride, which is why I persist. The day I turn to you and say, ‘John, what I just did in this role was a real winner,’ I hope you’ll have the courage and decency to throw a wreath around my head, and then so very quietly and compassionately shoot me.”