New York Spring

Just as Broadway had, for us at least, an unexceptional spring, the art I saw in New York on this visit left few lasting impressions, which I will briefly highlight. Before we left for Africa we went to the Neue Galerie for the final days of its Klimt Landscapes show. There were a handful of […]

Black Art

We had a fortuitous 30-hour immersion in Black culture: the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition of art from the collection of Alicia Keys and Swizz B; Hell’s Kitchen, the Alicia Keys musical on Broadway; and Harlem Renaissance at the Met. I reviewed the play elsewhere, but the two art shows were an interesting complement to each other. […]

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art isn’t imposing from the outside–arriving by taxi it was hardly apparent where the entrance was, the opposite of the grand entries of America’s other great museums: the Met, the National Gallery, the BMFA, Mia, etc. Instead, the statement comes inside, where Rafael Vinoly has created a vast glass-covered plaza that […]

D.C. Notes

Random thoughts from a brief visit to the National Gallery of Art last Saturday (3/23/24): The addition and integration of works from the Corcoran Gallery give the National Gallery one of the strongest, if not the strongest, collections of American art in the country. Despite the softening of the auction market for works in this […]

Frieze LA ’24

Four hours on VIP Thursday at the 2024 iteration of Frieze LA left me unqualified to make informed judgments but still with reactions, however superficial. The initial reaction, as often at such a fair, was being overwhelmed. The crowd was huge, the booths were packed atop each other and there was no easy way to […]

SBMA Paintings

In December when I brought a curator from Minneapolis to see the paintings galleries at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art I realized, to my surprise, that there was little I was proud to show him. And yet, I’ve always been impressed with SBMA’s collection. What happened? First, the Preston Morton Gallery was filled with […]

NY Art Scene ’23

In addition to Manet/Degas at the Met and Ruscha at MoMA, I had a number of other art encounters during our October ’23 in Manhattan. Summary comments follow: Ruth Asawa at the Whitney was the surprise star of the season. Much as Hilda am Klimt was raised to the modern art canon by her show […]

Ruscha at MoMA

I approached the Ed Ruscha retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art with low expectations. From numerous auction, museum and art gallery shows I was very familiar with Ruscha’s playful use of a single word in fanciful type on a plain background, made of gunpowder or other unusual medium. Clever and attractive, but how many […]


New York: Hot on the heels of its blockbuster Van Gogh (Cypresses) exhibition, the Met has trotted out two of the big four “Impressionists” to draw more crowds and open their wallets. (I put “Impressionists” in quotes because neither Manet nor Degas would have accepted the classification, and their styles differ significantly from the light-infused, […]

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

A worldwide traveling exhibition of blown-up images of the 34 frescoes that make up the Sistine Chapel ceiling, plus The Last Judgment, lit down in Santa Barbara’s Old Mission for the summer, yielding surprises good and bad. The images themselves were less than great, having the look of overenlarged low-resolution photos. (I don’t know how […]