Claude Monet Considered

August 6th, 2017|

For more than 50 years Claude Monet has been one of my favorite artists, but while there are works I like more than others, I had never systematically analyzed his different periods vis-à-vis my taste. Three recent experiences, however, have shown me that I don’t like all Monets […]

What Is Art?

September 3rd, 2016|

The age-old, unanswerable question came to mind as I pondered two equally compelling objects on back-to-back days in San Francisco (8/13-14/16). The first was the “strandbeest” at the Exploratorium in an exhibit titled “The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen.” There were actually several on display, including one that was operational. Contraptions made largely of PVC […]

Habsburg Splendor in Atlanta

November 6th, 2015|

I finally caught up with Habsburg Splendor, the touring exhibition that we previewed so memorably with the MIA group in Vienna exactly one year ago, and was hugely disappointed, partly because it paled so in comparison to what we’d seen at the Kunsthistorische but mostly because of the drab display at the High Museum in […]

MoMA Revisited

May 8th, 2015|

I will want to examine my perception more closely, but a  cursory visit to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (4/6/15) left me wondering about the disparity in quality between the sixth and fifth floors where the permanent collection is displayed. 1940 is the apparent dividing line between the two. The sixth floor is chock-a-block […]

George Caleb Bingham

January 24th, 2015|

Looking ahead to the exhibition that will visit the Met this summer, I have just read the catalogue, “Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham & the River” and found it illuminating and crystallizing why I so like Bingham’s work. First, it put his oeuvre in context: one never knows how unique an artist’s vision is, […]

Museum-Goer’s Wish List

May 30th, 2013|

A Museum-Goer’s Wish List
(in no particular order)

Nearly every sizeable museum now has a Collections Handbook, a softcover, 2/3-size for $20-something book that illustrates and explicates a selection of highlights, usually one to a page. My wish is that this handbook feature primarily, if not exclusively, works on permanent display. What I want is […]

Rembrandt’s Hands

May 23rd, 2012|

In honor of the visit by Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait from Kenwood House in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York has hung a large gallery (614) almost entirely with large portraits by Rembrandt and his followers or workshop (the latter all indubitably purchased by American collectors and donated to the […]

Islamic Art at the Met

December 3rd, 2011|

Based on a quick (two-hour) first visit to the new Met galleries devoted to the broadly-defined lands of the Middle East, my favorite object isn’t even in those eleven rooms: it is the painting of a Cairo mosque by Jean-Leon Gerome that is cleverly placed in the adjoining Paintings gallery featuring the Met’s Orientalist collection. […]

The Clock, redux

November 8th, 2011|

I caught up with Christian Marclay’s The Clock again this weekend, this time at one of its new permanent homes, Boston’s MFA. The couches were comfy and the exhibition space was off the beaten track; the audience was small but committed and the viewing experience a good one.
The second time […]

The Clock

February 20th, 2011|

When I went to see The Clock at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea I had no idea what to expect, thanks to curator David Little’s warning not to read about it beforehand. Based on the work’s title, I was not surprised when each movie clip that appeared on the big screen had a timepiece […]

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