“The teachers’ objection was not just philosophical; it was philological. The rule, they said in the French version of Slate, was a parvenu (it was enunciated in the 17th century and became widely taught only in the 19th century) and politically motivated (it buttressed French laws that denied women equal rights). … In its place, the teachers suggested using ‘the rule of proximity,’ in which the adjective matches the gender of the noun closest to it, which was common practice for centuries.”
“All the old habitats, including Mr. Carson’s pantry, the servants’ dining room and Lady Mary’s bedroom (faintly scandalous with its memory of Kemal Pamuk’s coital demise) are painstakingly recreated, right down to the forks and spoons arranged just so on the Crawley dinner table. Behind the green baize door lies the servants’ quarters just as you left them, along with Mr. Carson’s old desk, complete with period-era bills and correspondence.”
Lyn Gardner: “If the anniversary of the Russian revolution offers one reason for the current glut of Chekhov revivals, the other may well be the way the plays speak so directly to a world in flux, where the characters cannot comprehend or adjust to the cultural, social and political earthquakes that engulf them.”
Some people are asking that very question following the record-smashing sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi for $450 million. But there were some special factors at play here that are unlikely to be repeated – as Robin Pogrebin reports, “the artwork achieved an unprecedented price because it was an unprecedented piece.”
Anne Midgette on a National Symphony Orchestra concert at Anthem, a new riverfront club in southwest DC: “[Rather than] pander to a younger audience by giving it what they think it wants to hear, … this performance had the orchestra, in street clothes, simply playing the music it does well, including large chunks of this week’s subscription program. Rather than chasing the audience, it introduced itself as it is and let the audience come to it.”
“Artists, collectives, new bars, farm-to-table restaurants, startups, and alternative music venues are amassing in Athens. Abandoned buildings, the scars from what Greeks simply call ‘the Crisis’, are turning into cultural spaces and homes for startups. Political statements are now emblazoned as street art. Artists from Mexico, Bali, New York and Western Europe are making Athens a new base. Is Athens the New Berlin? No, it is Athens. But, something is happening.”
“There are times when I do just want to make a dancey dance. … But for me, I always get to a certain point when I feel it’s a waste of time and energy. Being black and gay there’s so much that I’ve faced in my life that I can’t be oblivious to what’s happening in the world. I can’t put all that aside and say: ‘Let’s just choreograph this pretty picture.'”
Siphesihle November, aged 19 and a new member of the NBC corps de ballet, talks to Q about his personal and artistic journeys to the far side of the globe. (audio)
Responding to a New York Post article – headlined in the print paper “The Art of the Steal” – questioning the fate of the funds intended for her now-abandoned performance-art institute in Hudson, New York, Abramović – in a statement titled “The Art of the Truth” – wrote that “the [tabloid’s] allegations are so false, libelous and in every way untrue that I must address them.”
“The enigma of The Enchanted Pose, which depicts side-by-side female nudes, began decades ago. It is listed in the comprehensive catalog of Magritte’s works, but its location had been marked as ‘unknown’ since 1932. Magritte, who died in 1967, never said anything about its fate.” Turns out he cut it into four, painted over the pieces, and sold them as separate paintings. They were all hiding in plain sight, as it were, and the last of the missing quarters has now been identified.
“The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s spring news earlier this year that its longtime president and CEO, Deborah Borda, was departing for New York sent the arts world spinning. Since then, one question has hung – or rung, like a symphonic triangle – in the air: Who would replace her?” We now have the answer.
Following the report that, at the time Halls was fired from the OBF artistic directorship, he was being investigated over claims that he discriminated against women, he wrote in a statement, “I am reading about these complaints for the first time now. At no stage did anybody from the University of Oregon or the Oregon Bach Festival leadership present me – or my attorney – with these documents.”
“Comcast is interested in the same set of assets that Disney approached Fox about earlier this year, sources said. Also of interest to Comcast is acquiring the international assets of Fox, given that the Philadelphia-based company is heavily concentrated in the U.S.” (includes video)
“Opening with a quote from Paul Monet, ‘Grief is a sword, or it is nothing’, [David] France’s book chronicles how the activist community fought to develop the drugs that would turn HIV into a largely treatable condition. … [The book] beat titles including Simon Schama’s Belonging and Christopher de Bellaigue’s The Islamic Enlightenment to win the £30,000 award,” the Baillie Gifford Prize.
“The Moorish-influenced Casa Vicens, commissioned by the stockbroker Manuel Vicens Montaner [as a residence] and built between 1882-88, was the architect’s first major project. … Fifteen lavishly decorated rooms by Gaudí have been restored with input from the descendants of its original tenants as well as extensive archival research.”
“[The Art Gallery of New South Wales’s] new wing, Sydney Modern, will step across the Cahill expressway and spill north down the Domain towards the harbour, under an ambitious plan to increase visits to the city’s pre-eminent gallery. But the latest plan, though more modest than the first version released in 2015, is still likely to spark a furious debate about the loss of open space in Sydney.”
In response to a news report saying that staff turnover has been high and morale low at the Brisbane, Australia-based orchestra – with sources blaming music director Alondra de la Parra and CEO David Pratt – the QSO section principals released a statement supporting the two, and the board chairman said, “I know that morale is strong under David’s and Alondra’s leadership; we promote a culture of speaking up, of respect and achievement.”
Did Ken Griffin Buy the Leonardo (or provide $$$ for Art Institute of Chicago to acquire it)?
While we’re all still coming to terms with the fact that a damaged 26″ x 18″ oil-on-walnut painted panel has just sold for $450.3 million, here’s a potential scoop that is based on some data, … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-11-16
“Sotheby’s Drudgery”: My Storify on Contemporary Art Sale Short on Excitement
Last night’s Contemporary Art sale at Christie’s, headlined by a certain very non-contemporary religious painting, was a hard act for Sotheby’s to follow. It did interpose its own anomalous lot to jazz things up – a red Ferrari. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-11-16
We gained a lot when albums went fully digital, but we also lost a bunch of stuff along the way. Among the things we lost: Record sleeves, media towers, and Tower Records. We have digital equivalents of all these things, so it’s not like we necessarily miss them. But perhaps the one thing we lost that we’ll never get back is the hidden track. It was one of the few things about an album that couldn’t easily be converted to MP3 or Spotify. … Today’s Tedium analyzes the artform of the hidden track.”
“It turns out he was adrift in a sea of Carlton Draughts … During more than a year of self-imposed exile in Melbourne, he spent hours on park benches, washing away the pain of a wrecked career with six-packs of beer.” Sarah Kaufman looks at Hallberg’s new memoir.
“For more than a century art historical experts have labelled a painting Queen Victoria bought as a Christmas present for Prince Albert a 19th-century fake. But a new generation of art historians has discovered they were wrong. Victoria and her advisers were correct when they bought the painting in 1840. It is a genuine work by the German master Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop.”
Tom MacMaster did some real damage with the blog where he pretended to be Amina Arraf, a young Syrian-American lesbian caught in Damascus when the Arab Spring arrived – especially when, about to be exposed, MacMaster posted that “Arraf” had been kidnapped. Kevin Young considers the hurt that the hoax caused to MacMaster himself, other individuals, and even the early rebellion against Bashar al-Assad.
He was one of the two attorneys whose groundbreaking defense prevailed in the 1960 obscenity trial of Penguin Books for publishing Lady Chatterley’s Lover; eleven years later, he won a more difficult case against Paul Ableman’s The Mouth and Oral Sex, establishing the “literary merit” argument. “He added a service to the arts by ending the cultural vandalism of Mary Whitehouse, whose attempt in 1982 to prosecute the National Theatre for staging Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain collapsed after his (and the Old Bailey’s) most remarkable cross-examination.”
“An investigation opened by the theatre, following allegations that the actor had sexually assaulted young men while working [as artistic director] there, led to 20 people coming forward to report incidents of inappropriate behaviour up to 2013. … The Old Vic said a ‘cult of personality’ had existed around Spacey during his time as director and that his stardom and status had prevented people, particularly junior staff and young actors, from speaking out.”
“The $317 million plan, approved by the board on Wednesday, will be the largest renovation in the history of the [system’s flagship] building, which opened in 1911. … [The plan] does not dictate any specific future for the most hotly disputed unused historic space in the building: its seven football-field-size floors of stacks, which have been largely empty since 2013.”
Philip Kennicott: “What it does well, it does as well or better than any museum in the country … bearing with it something that most historians and museum professionals may have thought was long discredited: the ‘master narrative’ idea of history, that there is one sweeping human story that needs to be told, a story that is still unfolding and carrying us along with it.”
Faced with the almost-certain elimination of his position, Stearns has accepted a buyout offer from the paper after more than 17 years.
“At a glitzy gala in New York City on Wednesday night, four writers emerged with one of the world’s most illustrious literary prizes, the National Book Award: Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, won for fiction; Masha Gessen’s The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, for nonfiction; Frank Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, for poetry; and Robin Benway’s Far from the Tree, for young people’s literature.” (includes video of complete ceremony)
“After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold on Wednesday night [at Christie’s] for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s Women of Algiers, which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015.”
“Matthew Loden and Ryan Fleur will share administrative leadership, with the title of interim co-presidents, as the orchestra looks for a successor to … Vulgamore,” who departs Dec. 31. “Fleur and Loden are currently executive vice president for orchestra advancement and executive vice president for institutional advancement, respectively.”