• Art Making
  • Jenny Saville in Boston

    Saville uses her own body for most of her paintings This week we heard painter Jenny Saville speak at Boston University. Thirty minutes before the lecture was scheduled to begin at Morse Auditorium, 500 people were already in a line snaking down Commonwealth Avenue. My initial reaction was, how cool. How often do you find […]

  • Books
  • In Search of Palliatives

    OK. This is getting intense. Everyone in this house has become a political junkie of the worst kind. We start off the morning with a full perusal of the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Then after a day’s worth of work that gets punctuated with periodic flyovers of no less than 14 political […]

  • Nature
  • Bivalvia in Excelsis

    My son is passionate about fishing, and lately his enthusiasm for all creatures of the salt water zone has spilled over into the bivalvia. He and his fishing friends found the perfect beach for both steamers and quahogs, one that isn’t too far from our home. So after a few baskets brimming with steamers and […]

  • Poetry
  • Living in Trees

    The Soul We know we’re not allowed to use your name. We know you’re inexpressible, anemic, frail, and suspect for mysterious offenses as a child. We know that you are not allowed to live now in music or in trees at sunset. We know—or at least we have been told— that you do not exist […]

  • Architecture
  • The Wince Factor

    The New York Times’ architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff captured it all in the title of his review: The Chanel Pavilion: Clear folly in lean times. Look how quickly everything in our lives has shifted. In just a matter of weeks, the vox populi has traded its old laissez-faire lens for a sharp edged one, one […]

  • Books
  • Equipment for Living

    The back page essay in the New York Times Book Review can sometimes be the highlight of my Sunday morning newspaper tussle. And these days, just weeks from the culmination of this all-consuming political season, it is a serious tussle getting through two papers, each the thickness of small pillows. This past Sunday Lee Siegel, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Gillian Jagger: In Between

    Installation at Violet Ray Gallery One of the old lions of the art world, Gillian Jagger, got a high five from John Perreault’s Artopia this week. She IS amazing. Can an artist be too original, too ambitious? Gillian Jagger, in my book, is truly an original, one of the most original artists I have ever […]

  • Poetry
  • Mahmoud Darwish

    While I was in India last August, the beloved Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish died in a Houston hospital after complications from heart surgery. Darwish published over 20 volumes of poetry and prose about his life as a Palestinian exile. His is a singular, extraordinary voice. Darwish’s poem, “Under Siege,” is a long poem, full of […]