ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Eddie Basinski Was A Rare Baseball-Violin Double Threat

"Basinski, who had taken classical violin lessons since childhood, played with the University of Buffalo’s symphony orchestra before embarking on his major league career in 1944." - The New York Times

Playwright And Essayist Paul Carter Harrison Shaped Black Theatre In The U.S.

Harrison, in his writings, "provided a theoretical structure for the Black performing arts, linking works by writers like August Wilson to a deeply rooted structure of African ritual and myth." - The New York Times

Ricardo Bofill Gave 1960s Spain A Sci-Fi-Looking Makeover

Bofill has died at 82. The Catalan outsider architect "spent a lifetime conjuring otherworldly buildings, which now stand like monuments from some future-primitive sci-fi civilisation. Half a century after their construction, his fantastical creations have inspired a whole new generation." - The Guardian (UK)

The Entire World Owes A Debt To Sidney Poitier

Poitier "helped reshape that world to such a degree that we’ll never be able to reckon fully with his impact." He was "a man who, with the delivery of a single pointed line or even just a commanding glance, could shift your thinking in small ways or large ones." - Time Magazine

Jon Podhoretz Remembers Terry Teachout

"Terry’s ability to bounce month to month from film noir to the crisis of the symphony orchestra to the talents of Robert Mitchum to the musicality of Nat King Cole to the ever-sticky problem of how and when and whether to separate an artist’s noxious views from his art were the ultimate testament..." - Commentary

The Pope Is Caught Shopping For CDs. Here’s What’s In His Collection

While it is mostly made up of classical music, it also includes: an old album of Édith Piaf’s greatest hits; Argentine tango tunes, especially by Astor Piazzolla; and a 25-disc collection of Elvis Presley’s Gospel songs, said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. - Catholic Sun

AJBlogger And Wall Street Journal Theatre Critic Terry Teachout, 65

Very very sad to announce the death of one of ArtsJournal's original and most prolific bloggers. - The Wall Street Journal

Image Of Maya Angelou To Be Featured On US Quarter

The quarter features an image of Angelou with her arms uplifted, a bird in flight and a rising sun behind her, with a portrait of George Washington on the “heads” side. The US Mint said the image of Angelou was “inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived”. - The Guardian

Would Paul Gauguin Care About The Moral Condemnation He Gets Today? Just Read His Final Journals

As writer Laura Gascoigne puts it here, "Is Gauguin redeemable? By today's standards, no. Would he want to be redeemed? Almost certainly not." - The Spectator (UK)

Director Kirill Serebrennikov, Who’d Been Banned From Leaving Russia, Suddenly Turns Up In Germany

For four years, ever since his conviction in a case many think was trumped-up, he's been directing theater in Europe via teleconference. Last week he arrived in Hamburg to finish work in person on his staging of Chekhov's Black Monk. (But will Russia let him come home?) - Deutsche Welle

Now Boris Johnson Corruption Accusations Extend Even To Arts Festivals

Texts from the Prime Minister's phone indicate that the man paying for renovations to Boris's apartment at 10 Downing Street was pitching him on a new version of the 1851 Crystal Palace Great Exhibition — and getting a favorable hearing. - Artnet

Mezzo-Soprano Maria Ewing Dead At 71

Perhaps best known these days as the mother of Rebecca Hall and the ex-wife of Peter Hall, she had a stellar career in the 1980s and early '90s, admired for singing and acting, and known as the first opera star to finish Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils nude. - BBC

Triple Oscar Winner Marilyn Bergman Was The First Woman To Chair ASCAP

She and husband Alan wrote the words for popular films' songs, including The Way We Were. The New York Times obit adds that "For many years their words were also heard every week over the opening credits to hit television shows like Maude, Good Times and Alice." - Variety

Comedian Bob Saget Of Full House, America’s Funniest Home Videos, And The Aristocrats, Has Died At 65

The comedian's deeply raunchy standup was a far cry from his job as "America's dad" on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. He did a two-hour show on Saturday night and was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday. - CNN

Max Julien Became A Cult Star After The 1973 Film The Mack

Julien starred as an ex-convict turned pimp, but he also wrote and co-starred in a feminist western. He didn't like the name "blaxploitation" and wanted every aspect of Black life portrayed on screen. - The New York Times

Our Free Newsletter

Join our 30,000 subscribers