• Aesthetics
  • Yes, But…

    “Hydra,” by Kay Canavino*, a photograph in my personal collection that I look at every day and adore I keep coming to that tough place, the one where you just have to say, “Yes, but…” It is a pervasive thing, this need to straddle. It isn’t just in the area of art and art making, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Ada Louise: Fierce Grace

    Ada Louise Huxtable photographed in the 1960s (Photo: Landmarks45.org) During my coming of age as an artist, Ada Louise Huxtable‘s architectural criticism informed so many of my ideas about buildings, cities, preservation, city life, aesthetics. One of the first books I read after moving to Manhattan in the early 70s was Will They Ever Finish […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Painting Well

    “Rag and bone shop” table surface in my studio The New York Times Book Review last week had a simple headline: “Why Criticism Matters”. The editors set the stage by describing our current age as one where opinions are “offered instantly, effusively and in increasingly strident tones”—by anyone, anytime. So in that context it is […]

  • 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 […]

  • Poetry
  • Poetry Tracking

    How much can you know about a movie, a book, a poem from a snippet, be it a trailer, the first page, the first few lines? Joan Houlihan in Contemporary Poetry Review makes the case that the quality of a poet’s work can be determined with some accuracy by “previewing” a poem’s first few lines. […]