Wednesday, July 28, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

PEOPLE

How Matt Damon Keeps Complicating Our Ideas About Matt Damon

"You only have to look a bit closer at Damon's career, at the notion of Matt Damon, Movie Star we have in our heads, to see that nice might be an ingenious sleight-of-hand, an illusion of sorts. Because that darkness is there." - The New York Times Magazine

In ‘The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas’, Gertrude Stein Depicted Great Artists And Writers. They Hated Her For It.

"Such was the ire that the magazine transition published a Testimony Against Gertrude Stein. Matisse raged at his wife being described as having a mouth like a horse while Braque railed against her insistence on Cubism being a wholly Spanish affair." (Worse, she called Hemingway "yellow.") - BBC

Portugal’s Four Greatest 20th-Century Writers Were Actually One Person

Fernando Pessoa published not only under his own name, but under three different personas as well. These weren't pseudonyms (he called them "heteronyms"): the four had completely different biographies, personalities and opinions and regularly argued with each other in print. - Literary Hub

Jackie Mason, Who Kept The Borscht Belt Style Alive And Brought It To Broadway, 93

Mason, "a former rabbi from a long line of rabbis, ... made comic capital as a Jew feeling his way — sometimes nervously, sometimes pugnaciously — through a perplexing gentile world." - The New York Times

Alice Clark Brown, A Black Woman Who Starred In A Very White Circus, 68

She was the first Black woman to star in a Ringling Bros circus, and "photographs from the time show Ms. Brown triumphantly astride her headstanding elephant, arms raised high, her elaborate headdress perfectly in place." - The New York Times

Arturo Schwarz, Refugee Who Became A Surrealism Tycoon, 97

Schwarz was expelled from Egypt in 1949, arrived penniless in Italy, and went on to found a prominent gallery devoted to Dadaist and Surrealist art in Milan and become probably the world’s greatest self-made collector and donor of work from those artistic movements." - The New York Times

Meet Arts Emerson’s New Programmer

“What really stuck out to us was … Ronee’s real commitment to inclusivity, her real commitment to BIPOC artists and elevating those voices. But also there is a deep commitment to the world — climate justice — in her practices.” - WBUR

John McMeel, Who Brought Us ‘Doonesbury’, ‘Dear Abby’, And ‘The Far Side’, Dead At 85

He and a friend started Universal Press Syndicate in 1970; Garry Trudeau was their first cartoonist. Among the many other cartoons and columnists he signed were Calvin and Hobbes, Cathy, William F. Buckley Jr. and Roger Ebert. - The Washington Post on MSN

Longtime Aspen Festival Opera Director Suddenly Dies

Edward Berkeley directed classics and championed new operas in Aspen, while mentoring generations of emerging singers. He oversaw rehearsals in his signature shorts, high socks and sneakers and traveled almost exclusively by bicycle in Aspen. - Aspen Times

Gil Wechsler, Who Lit The Met Opera’s Productions For Decades, Dead At 79

The company's first-ever resident lighting designer, he illuminated 112 productions over 20 years (1976-1996), and some of his work is still in use. He was affectionately called "the Prince of Darkness" because he was so astute about where not to aim the lamps. - The New York Times

Christopher Ricks, The “Irritable” Literary Critic

I think criticism is being good at noticing things. If I write about a particular work of literature, I do have to believe – not always, as it turns out, rightly – that I have noticed something about it. - New Statesman

Kurt Westergaard, Whose Muhammad Cartoon Triggered Years Of Protest And Violence, Dead At 86

"(His) 2005 caricature of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban touched off violent protests by Muslims, prompted a massacre that left 12 people dead at the offices of (Charlie Hebdo) and made him a target of assassins for the rest of his life." - The New York Times

Longtime Met Opera Mezzo Jean Kraft Dead At 94

A character singer admired for her dramatic skills, she sang with the company for two decades in nearly 800 performances. - Opera News

Graham Vick, Opera Director Who Sought Out New Audiences And Formats, Dies Of Covid-19 At 67

Vick, who founded the Birmingham Opera Company, "made exciting and experimental stagings at opera houses across the world." - The Guardian (UK)

Mat George, Co-Host Of Popular Podcast ‘She Rates Dogs,’ Killed In A Hit-And-Run At Age 26

Mat George’s "humorous takes often drew widespread attention on Twitter. Last week, he shared a photo of his mother and Snoop Dogg." - The New York Times

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