• Art/Language
  • Rosanna Warren

    Rosanna Warren was the featured poet on Thursday night at the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts at Boston University. Well known as a much-loved teacher and award-winning writer and translator (and the daughter of Robert Penn Warren), Rosanna cast a spell on me. Her work is carefully incised, with richly drawn streaks of […]

  • Ideas
  • Leaky Margins

    The interface between the self and the Web has been a topic that I think about a lot. I’ve written previously about Sherry Turkle’s work and her new book, Evocative Objects, and some of the ways the porous membrane between a cyber persona and a physical self can almost disappear. The generational implications of the […]

  • Against the grain
  • Taking Art Private

    I think that art should be allowed to go private. It should be a matter of one-on-one. In the last few years, the public has only heard of art when it makes record prices at auction, or is stolen, or allegedly withheld from its rightful owners. We need to concentrate more on art that sits […]

  • Art Making
  • The Intimate Interrupter

    A few words on solitude, discipline and the nature of being interrupted, by Mary Oliver: It is a silver morning like any other. I am at my desk. Then the phone rings, or someone raps at the door. I am deep in the machinery of my wits. Reluctantly I rise, I answer the phone or […]

  • Art Making
  • A Bell Striking Fumblingly

    I’m off to New York for a few days. Before I go, I will share some thoughts about simplicity and transcendence. I am probably being drawn to this viewpoint as a way to counteract the commencement of a holiday season that often feels more garish and overstated than heartwarming. “Translation,” wrote Kakuzo Okakura…”can at best […]

  • Art Making
  • With You or Without You

    There’s a perennially prickly relationship that persists between the artist who has an audience and the one who does not. In The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross returns to this theme many times as it played out between the giants of 20th century composing. Schoenberg “warned his colleagues against a futile chase after popularity,” and […]

  • Art/Music
  • Pandemonium in G Major

    I love this guy. Alex Ross writes about music for The New Yorker. He is so reliably brilliant, and my musician sister Rebecca and I both turn to his articles first when the magazine arrives at our respective homes. Then we call and talk about the nuance he captured or yet another poignant insight. His […]

  • Art Making
  • Transgressive Women

    I have been thinking a lot about transgressive women. There are so many ways to be transgressive, and I have my personal stylistic favorites. Much of my thinking has been triggered by reading a friend’s new book, Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History, by Laurel Ulrich. She has highlighted the lives of three women who […]