I’m off to Connecticut for a four-day Thanksgiving marathon, returning to New York on Saturday afternoon to embark on a week-long playgoing marathon. It’s all a bit too much, especially since I filed two Wall Street Journal columns yesterday. I wish I had the steam to post more extensively, but right now it’s all I can do to pack my bag. Expect the usual theater-related postings on Thursday and Friday, but otherwise I plan to lay low until next Monday. Apologies.
In the meantime, let me leave you with some pieces worth reading:
– Blake Gopnik of the Washington Post went to Atlanta to look at the High Museum‘s Morris Louis retrospective and filed this first-rate report about the declining fortunes of a once-fashionable abstractionist who is now criminally underrated. I wasn’t greatly impressed with the High Museum when I visited Atlanta last July, but Gopnik’s piece made me want to jump on the next southbound plane.
– Speaking of museums, Eric Gibson of The Wall Street Journal has written a tough and trenchant column
on the latest round of deaccessioning. Here’s the nut:
Just last week the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., announced that it was selling more than 200 objects from its collection to raise $15 million for the purchase of modern and contemporary art. “Deaccessioning,” as the practice is known, used to be the tool of last resort for acquiring new art. But lately it’s become the tool of first resort, with museums strip-mining their collections just to build a war chest….
What’s so disturbing about collection rentals and sales is that they violate the reason that museums are treated differently from businesses. Because of their transcendent importance, museum objects occupy a position outside the pressures of the marketplace. Yet more and more museums are treating these objects as financial assets that they can tap at any time.
What he said.
– Out of the Mouths of Babes Dept.: Joan Didion, who has written a stage version of The Year of Magical Thinking that will open on Broadway later this season, recently talked to an interviewer about the difference between screenwriting and playwriting:
Once in a while there were things in screenwriting that taught me things for fiction. But there’s nothing in screenwriting that teaches you anything for the theater. I’m not sure I’ve ever fully appreciated before how different a form theater is….Something I’ve always known and said and thought about the screen is that if it’s anything in the world, it’s literal. It’s so literal that there’s a whole lot you can’t do because you’re stuck with the literalness of the screen. The stage is not literal.
What she said.
That’ll have to hold you for now–I need to go to bed immediately. See you around.
P.S. Check out the new Top Fives.
P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!