Van Gogh admired Katsushika Hokusai and studied prints of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Did it influence Starry Night? From a visual standpoint, that seems probable: “The similarities between the thrust of the wave and the swirling of the sky; that they are both striking studies in blue; and the fact that Van Gogh admired The Great Wave so much all point to a loose inspiration.”
Archives for September 2018
Jefferson’s memoir Negroland won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, partly because of its ability to be personal and critical at the same time. Jefferson says, “I’d spent my writing life as a critic. My initial feeling was that those kinds of tones and voices had to go; this was memoir. But then, I realized, no, that was as much a fixed part of my identity as other things. I realized I had to include the critic who is diagnosing, who is assessing, who is judging against a kind of backdrop that is aesthetic, cultural, political.”
Masteroff, who adapted Cabaret from Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories and the stage adaptation of that book, hit a timely nerve (not that performances have ever stopped at colleges, high schools, and community theatres – or even on Broadway, where it was revived in 2014). “Cabaret, produced and directed by the Broadway legend Harold Prince, pushed boundaries with provocative depictions of homosexuality, bisexuality, ménages à trois and abortion” – and the growing Nazi threat.
Leonard Cohen’s son says that even talking about his father’s process of writing feels like an invasion. “My father was very interested in preserving the magic of his process. And moreover, not demystifying it. Speaking of any of this … is a transgression,” Adam Cohen says. But a final book of poems “is what he was staying alive for.”
Really, Metropolitan Opera and New York Phil, is this your updated classical music marketing?
In far-right governed Austria, the Steirischer Herbst “appointed its first non-German-speaking director and is now redefining itself as an international art event. The Russian-born curator Ekaterina Degot, working with a collective of other exhibition makers, has used the historically loaded title ‘Volksfronten’ (People’s Fronts) for an exploration by more than 40 artists of what she describes in her catalog introduction as today’s ‘alarming déjà vus of the 1930s.'”
Mark Rylance uses, and abuses, several handkerchiefs (not just that one) as Iago, and it’s all part of revealing the villain.
In Scotland, of course. “Scotland has an incredible wealth of working-class writers, thanks to a strong community and tradition of support from established authors.” But really, there are English, Welsh, and Northern Irish working-class writers as well, but the working-class writers and their publishers need to see interest from the public.
Warning: This piece may get stuck in your head.
A Pay Equity Summit was billed as “the first step” in getting women pay equity with men. One of the craft guilds “published a study this year arguing that female-dominated crafts are often paid less than male-dominated jobs of similar responsibility level. The study equated women-dominated jobs like script supervisors to male-dominated jobs like assistant directors.”
Hirst also closed his gallery in Ilfracombe last year, and some in the town are frustrated with the artist, whose 20-meter statue of a woman with a developing fetus in her womb was one of the big tourist draws to the town and to the restaurant.
His idea of “both-and” opened up possibilities for designing buildings that didn’t hide the work, but “even as Venturi ushered in a freer, less doctrinaire architectural culture, he helped pave the way for a white, male and clubby profession to close ranks against the outside world, and grow clubbier still.”
Though a federal court jury ruled in 2016 that “Stairway to Heaven” wasn’t plagiarized from the Spirit’s instrumental song “Taurus,” the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that that jury was “wrongly instructed.” So Spirit’s lawsuit is back on.
It’s not just Moonves: “CBS has been embroiled in the sexual harassment controversy for the last two months. On Aug. 1, the CBS board of directors hired two high-profile lawyers in New York — Mary Jo White from the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm and Nancy Kestenbaum of Covington & Burling — to investigate claims against Moonves. The two firms were also tasked with looking into allegations of sexual harassment at CBS News and the overall workplace culture at CBS. That review is ongoing” and has led to at least one high-profile firing.
Also, why not get the libretto for it from poets (and utter forces of nature and intellect) Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine, and then set it all on New York’s High Line? Why not indeed. More: “Ms. Rankine said that she assembled her contribution of the libretto — her words are spoken, while Ms. Carson’s are sung — by interviewing people about their tables.”
‘Bongo Cat’ took off a month ago, and in a world of constant reporting on sexual assaults and climate change, the meme has won over just about everyone. (Yes, you need to watch “In the Hall of the Bongo Cat.”)
His high-profile defection cemented his rock-star status in the West, and he “crossed over into popular culture. He was on magazine covers, newspaper front pages and in gossip columns, and photographed with figures such as Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana. He even appeared on the Muppet Show, performing Swine Lake with Miss Piggy.”
Feltrinelli staged the photo that launched one of her careers when she stayed with Ernest Hemingway and his wife in Cuba, but then she became a force in the publishing world in Italy. She “had an eye for promising writers and formed close relationships with Isabel Allende, Gabriel García Márquez, Günther Grass, Doris Lessing and Daniel Pennac, as well as homegrown talent like Stefano Benni, Antonio Tabucchi and Alessandro Baricco.”
Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes: “Even positive reviews yank my art from my hands and serve up my heart like a well-dressed ham. Even rave reviews have deposited me, post-celebration, in a disorienting depression where I feel my mouth has been slapped with duct-tape. People call and congratulate me not on the work but on the Times review. Against my affirmations and meditations, I become once again the little girl seeking approval when I have worked so hard to reject that frame.”
Not to mention this price: “I stand apart, casing the joint. Always on the lookout for a good line, the odd detail. It’s what writers and visual artists are trained to do: In the midst of a flood, consider the color of the water. We might or might not get a good story that way, but we’re at least more likely to survive the crisis. “
One critic says that TIFF did a pretty good job: “It’s one thing to say we need to be there. But we’ve been on the carpets and in these rooms and felt the disrespect. I didn’t feel like an outsider [at TIFF] and that is getting it right. It felt like a genuine change they were actually trying to be part of.” But now? Larger outlets need to diversify their rosters.
That is to say, e-sports are real sports, especially in arenas like car racing. iRacing is now “the gearhead’s answer to Fortnite and the preferred training tool of a not-insignificant number of the drivers gunning for IndyCar, nascar, and Formula One championships this fall.”
Bratescu remained unknown outside Romania until she was in her 80s, but then had major solo shows and represented her country at the Venice Biennale in 2017. “‘A project gets created at the work desk, not in the head,’ she told the online arts magazine The Calvert Journal last year in a typically sparse comment. ‘Art is form.'”
As in Congress, so too in the arts: the scales of justice are weighed against survivors of sexual assault. That’s why American Theatre magazine’s thorough investigation of sexual assault allegations in the performing arts is so important.
The Competition Bureau has expanded its investigation into Ticketmaster to include its secret scalper program after a joint CBC News/Toronto Star investigation revealed the ticket seller is working with large-scale scalpers to resell millions of dollars worth of tickets.
“I have a big problem with library technology. Let’s be honest, all libraries do! Mainly, the problem is… it sucks. Most of the time our tech already doesn’t work right, somebody decides to break it, and then we don’t have the money to fix anything.”
The first printed Old and New Testaments, reproduced in this new Taschen facsimile edition in two folio volumes, marked a cultural turning point, which was to shape religious controversies and political crises and conflicts throughout the following centuries. The production was technically complex and required an extraordinary amount of careful labour, which included setting 42 lines of text per page, consuming 2,500 bits of type, drawn from a font of 300 distinctive pieces.
If you are liberal—and in this political climate, we’re calling readers of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN liberals—you went on the internet this morning and saw a flood of #BelieveWomen tweets and women talking about how Blasey Ford’s testimony moved them to tears. But if you are conservative, you went on the internet today and saw a deluge of #BackBrett tweets, a great deal about flying, and a lot of lamenting.
“Nederlander of San Francisco, which operates that city’s Orpheum and Golden Gate theaters, this week asked a judge to prevent an ally-turned-rival, the producer Carole Shorenstein Hays, from staging the shows” — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dear Evan Hansen — “at the nearby Curran Theater, which she owns and has lavishly restored and ambitiously programmed.”
Prior to the autumn of 1968, any reference to homosexuality, bisexuality and nude performances would have been considered too outrageous to be shown on a British stage. Even something as seemingly harmless as a reference to Walt Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, in John Osborne’s play Personal Enemy, was banned because it was seen as a codified reference to homosexuality.