• Aesthetics
  • Keep Here Your Watch, and Never Part

    Seeing Mark Morris dance the part of Dido and her alter ego The Sorceress at the Boston premiere of “Dido and Aeneas” in 1989 was one of those nights at the theatre I’ve never forgotten. What a fortuitous combination of Purcell’s music, exquisitely ordered but emotionally fraught, with Morris’ infectiously seductive, inventive and extremely contemporary […]

  • Contemplative
  • Talisman

    A Surprise in the Peninsula When I came in that night I found the skin of a dog stretched flat and nailed upon my wall between the two windows. It seemed freshly killed – there was blood at the edges. Not my dog: I have never owned one, I rather dislike them. (Perhaps whoever did […]

  • Against the grain
  • Blogging Redux

    Has it happened, are there more blogs now than people on the planet? The uncontrollable sprawl of online scribblers has led to a lot of pondering in the media lately, with cultural critics ready to unpack and dissect the implications of this curious new form of expression and interconnection. I have intentionally kept clear of […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Stillness, in Color

    A few views of the Lake District, where color and stillness speak Ask Me Sometime when the river runs ice, ask me mistakes I have made. Ask me whether what I have done is my life. Others have come in their slow way into my thought, and some have tried to help or to hurt […]

  • Beauty
  • Pace and Pitch

    Maybe you are like me. Maybe you too get easily seduced by the pace and pitch of another culture. Whenever I return from being and breathing with fellow humans who don’t speak my language and are refreshingly free of the troubles that plague anyone who lives in this country right now, reentry is a slow […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Ancient Land

    What a relief to spend the last few days in a country that doesn’t have a president named Bush. The cheery Cumbrian men who stopped in to repair a leak in the ceiling listened with patience while we complained about how difficult it is to be an American abroad, and then pointed out that the […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Clearing the Decks

    During a time when I am still sitting in the silence—in the thinking and feeling rather than the doing, making, manifesting—my thoughts have been drawn to examples of significant disruptions in the flow of artistic output. Not just my own, but others. Probably the standout example from the recent past that is pointed to most […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Luc Tuymans

    Luc Tuymans’ paintings have an atmosphere all their own. They stand out whenever I have seen them on display, with that signatory diluted palette and the painterly, brushstroked surface. His content is usually identifiable and yet the paintings have a mystery to them that makes them feel more aligned to non-representational work. Although much younger […]