• Aesthetics
  • Martian Muse and Richard Tuttle

    Carbon Dioxide Ice in the Late Summer Fan and Dust Devil in Deuteronilus Mensa Jumbled Terrain in Ius Chasma There are mornings when language just isn’t of service to what is happening in the interior landscape. So it is ironic that in the language-centric world that is most online environments, the “out of language” still […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Kieferland

    Anselm Kiefer in the documentary, “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow.” (Photo: Alive Mind Cinema) _____ Rubble is the future. Because everything that is passes. There is a wonderful chapter in Isaiah that says: grass will grow over your cities…Isaiah sees the city and the different layers over it, the grass, and then another city, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Contemporary Art at the MFA

    First floor view of the new Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the MFA, Boston I’m of several minds when it comes to the oft-argued place that museums should/could/would claim in the cultural milieu of contemporary life. Beyond the obvious tensions—high brow vs low brow (in a world that is increasingly no brow), elitism […]

  • Popular Culture
  • The Fate of Ideas

    Last summer The Atlantic featured “14 Biggest Ideas of the Year.” My response—as was almost everyone else’s I spoke to about that article—started out excited but quickly deflated. The “ideas” were more platitudinously ordinary than inspiring: “Wall Street: Same as it Ever Was”, or the number one choice, “The Rise of the Middle Class — […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Cultural Dreamings

    Hans Hollein, façade from Strada Novissima, The Presence of the Past, 1980. Biennale of Architecture, Venice. From the show at the Victoria & Albert Museum Reviewing a new show of architecture at the Victoria & Albert museum, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, Guardian writer Hari Kunzru describes a movement that has its roots in the theoretical […]

  • Aesthetics
  • A Silky Attention Brought to Bear

    The sand along the shore in Small Point, Maine: The water’s silky attention brought to bear I’ve posted a few Jane Hirschfield poems on this blog previously (here and here) and continue to explore her body of work. In the meantime I have been savoring her volume of essays about poetry, Nine Gates: Entering the […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Guarding the Gate

    From a film about Anselm Kiefer, “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” I have referenced my favorite description of artists here before, but it bears repeating: Artists are continually torn between the urgent need to communicate, and the still more urgent need not to be found. —D. W. Winnicott As intimately as I know that […]

  • Current viewings
  • The Artist Curator Advantage

    Two of the most compelling shows I have seen over the last year were curated by artists. The first was Robert Gober‘s inspirational show of the work of Charles Burchfield (which was first exhibited at the Hammer Museum before coming to the Whitney). It was a revelation, completely transforming my view of this easily overlooked […]

  • Current viewings
  • Physical Graffiti in Philadelphia

    Tintinya, mixed media on Stonehenge, 22 x 52″—one of three paintings by Deborah Barlow included in “Physical Graffiti” Heading down to Philadelphia for the opening of Physical Graffiti: 13 artists transform time and materials. Curated by artist and friend Pam Farrell, the show brings together a number of artists I admire. Show mates include: Jose […]