• Art Making
  • The Private and the Political

    From Doris Salcedo’s Disremembered series. These sculptures are made with raw silk threads interspersed with more than 12,000 tiny, blackened needles. “Handwoven thread by thread and needle by needle, each delicately beautiful but menacing garment embodies a painstaking gesture of mourning.” (Detail) I’m not the only one stymied. Many of us are struggling with we […]

  • Art Making
  • Benedictions

    Sally Mann (Photo: Liz Liguori) Finding fully immersive distractions to defend against the relentlessly ugly political news has become a daily ritual. Like so many others, I go out each day in search of sustenance in a landscape that has been ravaged by the locusts of lies, hatred and distrust. Protecting the inner landscape and […]

  • Art Making
  • Pfaffability

    Judy Pfaff at Wheaton College Judy Pfaff is an artist’s artist. Perhaps I should be more specific and say she is my kind of artist’s artist. And “my kind of artist” is a much bigger category than me and my friends. Legions of us have followed her for years, and we keep being compelled, enthralled, […]

  • Art Making
  • Touchability

    Edmund de Waal, detail, Princeton Museum Continuing with themes inspired by Edmund de Waal in his latest book, The White Road… In a profile of de Waal that appeared in the New York Times, Sam Anderson describes de Waal as an evangelist of touch. “Thinking is through the hands as well as the head,” de […]

  • Art Making
  • When a Stack of Bowls is a Chord

    Edmund de Waal installation currently on view at the Princeton Museum With the publication and international success of his family memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal became a literary sensation before many knew he was, first and foremost, an artist whose specialty is ceramics. Notoriety tends to spills over, and soon his […]

  • Art Making
  • The Art/Business Connection

    My partner Dave having a moment with Richard Diebenkorn at the Cantor Center, Stanford University When asked for advice about how to navigate the visual art space, I increasingly say that for most of us, it is just DIY. The old atelier model of “I make the art and someone else sells it” is gone […]

  • Art History/Theory
  • Art and Politics

    Jamuna, pure pigment on canvas, by Natvar Bhavsar (Image: Asianart.com) Political language is a tongue, one that is optimally designed to infiltrate both thinking and feeling at the same time. Sarah Hurwitz, speechwriter for Michelle Obama, is a master at getting words to work at all those levels at the same time. Oratory brilliance takes me straight […]

  • Art Making
  • Wingate, Inside and Out

    George Wingate is a life long friend and an artist whose explorations have always been engagingly 360. His work has a staggering range. Most recently he has been mastering the weekend only installation: transforming empty storefronts, exhibit spaces or even the homes of friends. This past weekend George expanded that pop up skill set to […]

  • Art Making
  • Irwin at the Hirschhorn Museum

    Robert Irwin’s “Untitled” (1969), at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. (Photo: Drew Angerer for The New York Times, Robert Irwin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York) Robert Irwin holds a particular place in the California annals of contemporary art, and he holds a particular place for me personally. He figured larger than life […]