• Aesthetics
  • El Anatsui

    Installation views of El Anatsui at Jack Shainman Gallery It’s hard to not find El Anatsui’s work beguiling. The first piece I experienced was at the De Young Museum in San Francisco before El Anatsui’s break out into international fame at the last Venice Biennale. I was knocked out by the tactility of his tapestry […]

  • Aesthetics
  • One More Dance: The 2010 Whitney Biennial

    Jeffrey Inaba’s installation warms the cold cement interior of the Whitney Museum lower level It is a ritual I have witnessed for over twenty years (and one I have participated in with variations in intensity): The Whitney Biennial Grouse. The cacophony of anger, outrage and “how could they?” that erupts around this show every two […]

  • Poetry
  • Women and Wilderness

    View of the wilderness in New Mexico from my friend Anne’s remote home Women Women have no wilderness in them, They are provident instead, Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts To eat dusty bread. They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass, They do not hear Snow water going down under […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Rules of Engagement

    Open and ready: Art smart guy Jerry Saltz I am off to New York City for a couple of days and will return to Boston on Friday. In the meantime here’s just about the best message I’ve received in a long time. This wisdom came to me from Jerry Saltz, someone I hold in the […]

  • Uncategorized
  • Left Coast, North and South

    Matthew Barney leaves his mark, Drawing Restraint, inside SFMOMA Follow up on an earlier post: Chloe Veltman has written a very good piece in the Times highlighting the two shows I reviewed here (Reporting on the Other Coast) currently on view at MOCA Los Angeles and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I am […]

  • Science
  • Analytical vs Creative: Pick One

    According to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, sexual fantasizing improves analytical skills. But daydreaming about love impacts your creativity. This sounds downright Jill Bolte Taylor-esque. Left hemisphere versus right. Melinda Wenner of Scientific American goes into more depth. Previous research suggests that our problem-solving abilities change depending on our states of mind and that […]

  • Books
  • Spellbound

    My friend Thalassa recently lent me her copy of Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, translated from the German. Our tastes are highly confluent, so I was ready and primed for something delicious. And indeed it is. This book cast a spell on me. I don’t know what other language I could use to […]

  • Wisdom
  • Life That Doesn’t Lie Flat

    Galactic beach wood, from Half Moon Bay We fall into a story about enlightenment—about life, in fact—and we can get trapped in it for many lifetimes. I wonder more and more how well any life really fits a story. What if our life is not this, then that, in a flat and sensible way, but […]