AJ Logo Get ArtsJournal in your inbox
for FREE every morning!
HOME > Yesterdays

Monday, September 19


Hitting The Right Tone Fancy yourself a composer? Here's a website that creates new unique music based on your mouseability... Wolfram Tones 09/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:54 pm

Christians In Comedy: A World Apart As a general rule, stand-up comics tend to be fairly liberal sorts. Maybe it's something about the lifestyle - performing late at night in seedy bars with other comics who use the f-word as punctuation - but the right wing, which encompasses a large chunk the U.S. population, has never seen much representation at the local Laugh Factory. But just as the world of American religious conservatism has created and nurtured its own sources for music, news, and education, a new market is emerging for Christian comics, who hit all the usual stand-up targets while simultaneously taking digs at evolution, activist judges, and gays who want to get married. The New York Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 9:00 am

Click here for more Ideas stories...

Visual Arts

The National's New Artist-In-Residence London's National Gallery has a new artist-in-residence - Chris Ofili. "It is a surprising step for the National Gallery, an unshakable bastion of traditional high culture, to be employing the services of an artist who symbolises, perhaps more than any other, Britart cool. 'Some people will no doubt regard it as a sell-out. But it's about engaging with contemporary culture rather than adopting an aloof view'." The Guardian (UK) 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 8:00 am

Phillips Powers Into Bigger, Better Washington DC's Phillips Collection is heading into expansion in the fast lane. "The Phillips has raised $29 million in its first-ever capital campaign -- $2 million more than the goal and two years ahead of schedule. In December, the museum receives the keys to its new building, next door to its intimate Dupont Circle home, which will add 3,000 square feet of gallery space and an auditorium." Washington Post 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:55 am

New Orleans Museum - An Oasis Of Calm The New Orleans Museum survived Katrina intact. It "opened in 1911 and is one of the central cultural institutions of New Orleans, and is an oasis of calm and beauty in a city of despair and ruin. But it is an empty oasis. Wind and water have driven away its 150,000 annual visitors, its 10,000 members, and many members of its staff and board of trustees. 'My first priority to the staff and trustees is to ensure that the museum opens up as soon as possible. I wouldn't want to have our best pictures leave the museum right now'." The New York Times 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:52 am

LA County Museum To Sell Off Major Art The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is selling off 42 works, including paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley and Max Beckmann, sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, and works on paper by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas. "The idea, said LACMA Deputy Director Nancy Thomas, is to prune redundant and unrepresentative items and spend the income on works that will fill in gaps — especially modern works that could shine when the museum expands, reorganizes and rehangs its collection in 2007." Los Angeles Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:24 am

Dali Scores Big For Philly The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Dali show earlier this year "generated $55 million for the Philadelphia region, including $4.46 million in state and local taxes," says a new study. The Art Newspaper 09/16/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:20 am

A New Museum For Paris? "Canadian architect Frank Gehry has been hired by Bernard Arnault, chairman of the luxury goods group LVMH, to produce designs for a new museum in Paris. If the project goes forward, the new museum would house works from the French billionaire’s contemporary art collection." The Art Newspaper 09/16/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:18 am

Do-Over - When Prominent Architecture Needs Fixin' The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University was architect Peter Eisenman's first large-scale work, a renowned 1989 building. But it leaked. And the temperature inside swung wildly during the day. Eventually the museum had to close for a redo. "That leaks and zigzagging temperatures would plague such an experimental building is not so surprising, some architects say, given that the design elements would have been challenging for any structural engineer. But, inevitably, the setbacks of celebrated architects seem to draw attention." The New York Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:28 pm

The Titian Under The Paint It was a painting by a mediocre artist. But there was something under the top layers of paint. "What lies beneath is a Titian, a unique double portrait of a mother and daughter whose subjects remain an intriguing mystery. Christie's yesterday announced it was auctioning Portrait of a Lady and Her Daughter in December for an estimated £5 million." The Guardian (UK) 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:25 pm

Munch's Hell The currently missing Scream may be Edvard Munch's best-known painting, but the bleak, horrible emotion running through that work is a good representation of the artist's overall body of work. In fact, Munch was arguably the world's most skilled artist at inspiring a feeling of utter dread in those who view his work. "His relentless and self-absorbed despair makes everyone else's spleen look almost kittenish. Hell, you realise, could be defined as being locked in a small room with Edvard Munch for all eternity; and certainly it seemed that way to Munch himself." The Guardian (UK) 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:01 pm

Click here for more Visual Arts stories...


Career Choice - Singing The Blues Being a singer is not a good career choice these days. "The expansion of higher education conflicts exponentially with the contraction of the classical music business, leaving more aspirants chasing fewer opportunities and smaller budgets. Fees have barely shifted in the past decade, and what might look quite good on paper - £500-£1,000 per performance - is pitiful when you've deducted all the expenses, including 15 per cent agent's commission. And even if you do make it big, time is short: if you manage 20 years, you're doing better than most." The Telegraph (UK) 09/18/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:44 am

Are We Growing Numb To Music? "We live in a world with too much music. And the din is only increasing. Stop and listen for a moment. Hear that tune on the radio in the cubicle next to you? Hear that jingle on the TV ad? Or the Kanye West ringtone on your cell phone, clashing with the music being played by the band in the corner of the bar? Maybe you don't hear any of that because you've got your iPod earbuds in, or your home stereo cranked. Music is everywhere these days. And with the proliferation of ever-smaller electronic devices packed with ever more music, the supposed nirvana of having any song available at the push of a button seems ever closer." Are we losing our ability to really listen? The Missoulian (Montana) 09/16/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:36 am

Florida Concert Group Merges With Miami PAC The new Miami Performing Arts Center (anxious to sign up tenants) has signed up (read: merged) with the Concert Association of Florida. "Most obviously, the partnership strengthens the Miami Performing Arts Center's status as the dominant cultural force in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, even before the center opens in fall of 2006. In addition to its signing of the Cleveland Orchestra as resident ensemble for 10 years, presenting Florida Grand Opera performances and bringing Drucker's events under its authority make the Miami Performing Arts Center the most powerful presenter of classical music in the region." The Sun-Sentinel (Florida) 09/16/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:32 am

Philly Singers Cancel Half Season The Philadelphia Singers, one of that city's major choral groups, has canceled half its season. "The decision comes after five years of declining support from private donors, foundations and subscribers, which numbered 400 last year. Executive director Rebecca Bolden called the move 'painful' but 'fiscally responsible' in consideration of the chorus' $40,000 deficit against a $600,000 annual budget." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/18/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:48 pm

The Highest Soprano In The World? Surely Diana Damrau sings the highest of any soprano. In a world where high "C" is considered an upper range, she goes higher. Much higher. "Last December, in the first modern performance of Antonio Salieri's "Europa Riconosciuta," at La Scala in Milan, she topped the composer's three F sharps with an unwritten high G. What's more, she managed to give that unearthly note real sheen and body. And in concert, she has sung an A flat in Johann Strauss's "Voices of Spring." The New York Times 09/18/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:44 pm

Naxos Joins The Podcast Parade Everybody's getting in to podcasts. The latest is the recording label Naxos. "The label has five free mini-documentaries on classical music already available, and more are on the way. 'They're not really sales pieces. We designed them to help people get involved, learn about and appreciate classical music. It gets kids thinking about classical music too, using a medium that younger people are tuned in to'." Los Angeles Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:24 pm

Click here for more Music stories...

Arts Issues

Going It Alone - Artists And The Technology Revolution The blessing of technology for artists? The ability to make your art and distribute it without the middleman. "New technology means creative types across the board—from filmmakers to visual artists to authors—are finding it easier to bypass traditional middlemen, like record labels or galleries, and reach out to appreciative audiences themselves. The market has become so fragmented and audience tastes so specialized, it's no longer possible for big companies to cater to every niche. But individual artists can." Newsweek 09/26/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:14 am

Click here for more Arts Issues stories...


American "Man of Letters" Dies At 99 "Stanley Burnshaw, a consummate man of letters who was not only a poet, critic, translator, editor, publisher and novelist, but also skilled at setting type by hand, died yesterday on Martha's Vineyard. He was 99... Burnshaw roamed the peaks of the literary world, famously dueling with Wallace Stevens over poetry and politics; publishing and editing work by his friend Robert Frost; writing a biography of Frost; and publishing important books by Lionel Trilling." The New York Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 9:41 am

Rushdie On Terror, Both Personal and Global Thanks to the fatwa issued against him by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini following the 1989 publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie will never be just another writer. "Forced to go underground for several years and travel everywhere with a phalanx of bodyguards, Rushdie was given a reprieve of sorts in 1998, when a reformist Iranian government distanced itself from the previous ruling... Despite this, Rushdie has not settled into a life of hedonistic comfort. He has been active in American PEN, speaking out vigorously on issues that affect writers around the world. And in his latest novel, the critically well-received Shalimar the Clown, Rushdie has taken on terrorism in the best way he knows how: by exploring the personal nature of fanaticism and how it has made the planet a more dangerous place." Los Angeles Times 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 8:15 am

Click here for more People stories...


August Wilson's Last Play August Wilson's spirit looms large in all of his works, but never more so than in this production at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. "Radio Golf," which examines the price of success for blacks in the '90s, is the long-awaited finale of his 10-part dramatic cycle about African American life. The project, which took nearly a quarter-century to complete, is seen as both a masterwork of the theater and a treasure of American social history. Celebration of the cycle's completion has been tempered by last month's announcement that the 60-year-old writer is battling liver cancer." Los Angeles Times 09/16/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 8:42 pm

Lennon's Short & Winding Road Dead-Ends To the surprise of absolutely no one in the New York theatre scene, Lennon, the biographical musical focused on the enigmatic Beatle, is closing only a few weeks into its run. The production had been plagued by problems from the start, and a media report shortly before opening night suggested that the producers and cast were at their wits' end in dealing with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. The Guardian (UK) 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 11:09 am

Reverse Course It used to be that America's East Coast-based stage actors toiled at their craft for little money and less recognition in the vague hope that their efforts would eventually earn them a trip to Hollywood, there to become true stars making real money. These days, the march of the actors seems to be going in the exact opposite direction, as many of Hollywood's biggest names beat a path to New York to "legitimize" themselves on Broadway stages. The Observer (UK) 09/18/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 11:05 am

Click here for more Theatre stories...


Mr. Big: The Man Who Buys For Waterstone's Scott Pack buys books for Waterstone's, which means he has a lot of power over what people in the UK will read. He is "keen to suggest, of course, that he does not have anything like the power that publishers and authors ascribe to him, that he is simply one more filter for the ridiculous volume of books that are published. All he does really, he says, is decide which books Waterstone's will promote, which ones will make it on to the coveted tables that greet customers as they walk into the shops. He thinks it fair enough that publishers should fork out to have their books included in these promotions and, stubbornly, does not see how this policy might favour the big corporate publishers who can afford to pay over the odds." The Guardian (UK) 09/17/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 8:08 am

French Fiction On The Decline Has the quality of French writing declined? "This month, 633 titles will be published in French, in a ritual known as la rentrée littéraire, a publishing blitz that the reading public finds increasingly bewildering. This year's list is double the length of that six years ago, and many titles end up unsold in the stockroom. Some hard questions are now being raised. How many of these novels are really worth reading? And why are so few of these authors known outside France? Even francophiles in the English-speaking world find it hard to list many contemporary French novelists." The Economist 09/17/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:31 am

New Orleans As A Literary Character Setting a book in any city helps define the story. But New Orleans isn't just any city; the city is a powerful character. "Gertrude Stein famously complained that when it came to Oakland, Calif., there was no "there" there. New Orleans, conversely, could be accused of having too much "there" there: It's a city stuffed with ambience, bursting at the scenes with color and flavor and sound." Chicago Tribune 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:27 pm

Click here for more Publishing stories...


At The Emmys: Same Old, Same Old "Every time a name was called you thought: Oh. Him/her again. How are these things voted on? If these Emmys opened with actors reflecting on their first Emmys, it was dominated by series producers and costars reflecting on the Emmys they'd won yet again. For the most part the more interesting new faces of TV were glimpsed more than seen, which contributed to the overall feel of a rote Emmys, an Emmys that could be happening any old year." Los Angeles Times 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:51 am

Writers, Directors Ask Unions: Where's Our Money? Movie writers and directors charge that their respective unions aren't doing enough to get them foreign payments due them. "Unlike television residuals, which producers and studios have been obligated to pay since the 1950's, foreign levies stem from VCR, DVD and Internet technology. While American viewers can tape programs from their television sets free of charge, in other nations people pay taxes like one on blank videocassettes and DVD's, or assessments on cassette rentals so the copyright holders can be compensated. It is this revenue into which the three Hollywood guilds began tapping as early as 1990, on behalf of members and also of others who had a stake in films but did not belong to the unions." The New York Times 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:47 am

Hollywood Tries To Get A Grip On Tech Hollywood movie studios, more and more at the mercy of technology, have decided to join forces and build a lab to explore technology on their own. "The lab is modeled after CableLabs, which since 1988 has spearheaded pivotal innovations in the cable television industry - hastening the adoption of fiber optics, cable modems, telephony and digital video. Hollywood's version will begin with a more modest mandate, said Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. It will focus principally on piracy prevention, though it will be given some flexibility to expand its mission later, he said." The New York Times 09/19/05
Posted: 09/19/2005 7:40 am

Pollack Does Gehry Using a mini-DVD camera Sydney Pollack has made a documentary of architect Frank Gehry. "After many offers from various Canadian, American and British filmmakers, Frank Gehry's decision to ask Sydney Pollack to consider directing such a documentary occurred when he realized that the filmmaker had taken the best photos of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. At first, Pollack didn't want the job. 'I didn't feel literate as a documentarian. I certainly didn't feel literate architecturally -- this would be a really dumb thing for me to do'." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:26 pm

Radio-Canada Axes News Show, Sees Ratings Spike Quebec's "Radio-Canada this week ended one of the longest traditions in network television by replacing its suppertime newscast with a light-hearted talk show hosted by a popular blond starlet and Chatty Cathy of Quebec's celebrity circuit. On the one hand, who can blame the network? Radio-Canada's news broadcasts had been getting hammered for years by the private competition. Replacing the news with Véro, the variety hour hosted by Véronique Cloutier, appears to have been a brilliant move. In its first week, Véro drew almost twice as many viewers..." The Globe & Mail 09/17/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 7:26 pm

Hollywood '05: The New Misogyny The good news is that there are plenty of roles for women in the new fall TV season. The bad news is that most of them involve women being beaten, killed, tortured by aliens, impaled, bloodied, assaulted, and kidnapped. Oh, and while they're still alive, the women of TV tend to be naked, or nearly so. "Trying to get [the Hollywood men who create these delightful female roles] to discuss the Season of Die, Women, Die! can be difficult. Because the men who made the shows, and the suits who ordered them, while not timid about slicing and dicing up the female characters in these drama series, go shy all over when asked about the trend." Washington Post 09/18/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 11:33 am

Click here for more Media stories...


Jones Takes On A 'National Malaise" Choreographer Bill T. Jones seemingly exists to make people angry, and some in the dance world believe that Jones's sort of controversy is exactly the sort of visceral content the genre needs to engage a public distracted by the juggernaut of pop culture. "Mr. Jones has carried himself through the rarefied world of dance with an air of enlivened majesty: speaking out, speaking often and, when speaking of himself, occasionally speaking in the third person. His comportment may partly explain why, during his more than 25-year career, his creative efforts have repeatedly been considered transgressive. But that term mischaracterizes him as an artist and perhaps even as a man, a point rendered clearly in this newest work." The New York Times 09/18/05
Posted: 09/18/2005 11:19 am

Click here for more Dance stories...

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2002 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved