• Aesthetics
  • Virtuosity

    Painting at Lascaux After writing Sunday’s post I kept being nagged by this additional passage from Denis Dutton‘s New York Times op ed piece: One trait of the ancestral personality persists in our aesthetic cravings: the pleasure we take in admiring skilled performances. From Lascaux to the Louvre to Carnegie Hall — where now and […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Sagacity

    Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled 7-95, 1997, oil on linen on panel, 16×20”. (Image courtesy of Max Protetch Gallery) My two major sage sources over the last few months have been Philip Guston and Thomas Nozkowski. Both artists are recognized for being extremely intelligent and cerebral; yet the power of their work is visceral and immediate. For […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Handmadeness

    Denis Dutton, the recently deceased author of The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution, wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times a few years ago in response to the auctioning of one of Damien Hirst‘s infamous medicine cabinets: The pricey medicine cabinet belongs to a tradition of conceptual art: works we admire […]

  • Art Making
  • Energizing the Space

    Detail view of David’s Death of Marat. Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts. The background was intentionally unfinished. In the preface to a book of poetry by Dylan Thomas, the poet said he was going to publish this group of poems so he would have to quit futzing with them. Once in print, he would […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Letter to a Young Artist

    Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (7-72), 1995, Oil on linen on panel, 40.6 x 50.8 cm, Max Protecht Collection, © Thomas Nozkowski / Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York. Some people have moderation built in, like a personality module fully loaded from birth. Those are the lucky souls who can sit in front of a bowl of chocolate covered […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Nozkowski: Working from a Feeling

    Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (7-107, LA III), 1998, oil on linen on panel, 22×28” (Photo: BOMB Magazine) Thomas Nozkowski is an artist I follow and have been interested in for some time. But I began diggging deeper into his work and his point of view after reading the review of his show at Senior & Shopmaker […]

  • Aesthetics
  • A Stop Between Uncertainties

    Fragment of “Gareska”, part of a recent painting series Most of us know that feeling of rubberbanding: the rapidity with which you can move from loving what you are doing to finding it completely unacceptable. The writer Anne Lamott (who has written in depth about writing itself in books like Bird by Bird) advises her […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Micchelli Litmus Test

    William Powhida, “A Guide to the Market Oligopoly System” (Photo courtesy of Felix Salmon) The artisphere has been awash these last few weeks with opinions about art fairs, the brazen commercialization of fine art, changes in powerbrokering, and what’s hot. These topics are perennials that come and go like the cold virus that takes up […]

  • Art Making
  • The Machinery at Hand

    Donna Summer, RIP Donna Summer is gone. The queen of disco will never be forgotten by anybody who was alive in the 70’s. Come on. Admit it. We all danced wildly to her music. And it was fun. Disco doesn’t make it onto any of my playlists these days. But Summer is the sine qua […]