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Post #951 • February 2, 2007, 10:57 AM • 25 Comments

"The works span more than 400 years, from the 16th to the early 20th century, and include drawings in ink and pencil, watercolor, chalk and gouache. Rather than being divided into national schools, drawings from Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain are arranged by century. The strongest concentration is in Italian drawings."

The Etch-A-Sketchist. (Drawn!)

"English-speaking anthropologists affectionately squish 'green' and "blue" together to call Welsh an example of a 'grue' language. A few of them think groo grue languages are spoken by societies that live up mountains or near the equator because ultraviolet radiation, which is stronger in such places, causes a progressive yellowing of the lens. ... The ultraviolet theory, however, is just one idea among many in the debate about the psychology of colour. Like many debates in psychology, this one pits congenital, fundamentally genetic, explanations against explanations that rely on environmental determinism."

My relation of formal disconnect to art market commercialization gets picked up by JT.

Department of Feisty MassArt Grads: "At a news conference after the hearing, Stevens and Berdovsky stepped to the microphones and said they were taking questions only about 1970s hairstyles." More at Reason. Still more at the blog of security demigod Bruce Scheiner. Boston: Never forget.

Ze Frank on art. (Andrew)

The blogroll, after some heavy editing, is approaching utility.

Post #1000 is a couple months away. We should celebrate, right? But how?

Department of Skills: One camera take, one serious badass. In other Tony Jaa news, The Protector is now out on DVD. (The bit with the helicopter is probably not real. Much of the rest of it, including the flying 540° roundhouse kick, is.)



Hugh Bris

February 2, 2007, 12:06 PM

Sorry about the double post. Here is something new I came across - lets say you are an armature artist (like myself) and you are looking for a way to improve your skills. You can go to this company's site and order an "oil reproduction" which is only half ready, and then try ti finish it yourself! Isn't that cool? [Not really. - F.]



February 2, 2007, 12:17 PM

#2 [now #1 - F.] looks suspiciously like an ad, but it is harmless.

The person who wrote the article on color clearly knows nothing about color and therefore pretty much blundered through the story.



February 2, 2007, 1:28 PM

Thanks for the link Franklin.



February 2, 2007, 1:37 PM

That Jaa video is great - every time the camera puls away from him you know someone's going to go through something.



February 2, 2007, 2:33 PM

I always wonder in those kung fu things why someone doesn't just shoot the guy.



February 2, 2007, 2:38 PM

Because it would make the movie eight minutes long.


Marc Country

February 2, 2007, 3:25 PM

I kept worrying he was gonna notice the cameraman, and toss him over the rail next...



February 2, 2007, 7:15 PM

That show of drawings in NY sounds really enticing; I'd love to see it. I don't know who the collector may be, nor how the works were chosen or acquired, but this is an example of real collecting with seriously substantial results. I expect the drawings will indeed end up in a suitable institution such as the National Gallery, as they should.

I can't help but think, crass though it may be, that the collector in question probably paid less for all of these true treasures together than Hedge Fund Boy did for the rotting pickled shark. It's beyond obvious who got real value for money and who might as well be retarded, certainly artwise.



February 2, 2007, 7:15 PM

I hate to dwell on it, but what is an armature artist?



February 2, 2007, 7:18 PM

I presume "armature" is what the spellchecker hacked up when Spammer Boy up there mangled "amateur" in Word.



February 2, 2007, 7:50 PM

Oh, of course. And here I was wondering what use a sculptor of some sort might have for paint by numbers. Really, I hadn't a clue. Must learn to think more creatively about spelling. Thank you.



February 2, 2007, 11:28 PM

[Dude! Not okay! - F.]



February 2, 2007, 11:46 PM

Sometimes it is easier to push a large stone up a hill with your nose than it is to get a straight honest answer from those that don't realize that you actually love them and are on this planet to participate and help!



February 2, 2007, 11:49 PM

This can be quite true. I'm e-mailing you, JM.



February 3, 2007, 4:36 AM

Robert Hughes in "The Shock of the New" put Aurebach, Freud, Kossoff, Scully and Bacon in his top hat - while painters such as Salle, Fischl, and Koons were painters of underware stains. Does this proclaimation still hold up ? Although Hughes never said underware stains literally, figuratively or specifically, the implications to bad art are there. As an aside, how are the dealers doing around here ?



February 3, 2007, 7:49 AM

Look here man, all woman are geniuses and men work hard to measure up. That is why there is violence.
Please read Norman Mailer and figure it out. Gosh...


Bunny Smedley

February 3, 2007, 1:44 PM

With reference to the point about Robert Hughes, jm, I sometimes wonder whether he isn't more positive ('indulgent' might be a better word) about artists whom he likes at a personal level - as people, rather than artists, if you see what I mean? It seems pretty clear from what he's written that he gets on well with Auerbach, Freud, Kossoff and Scully - whereas he obviously didn't really hit it off with Koons or Schnabel! (His comments on Bacon, by the way, seem more ambivalent than you suggest, but you may be right.) And that may shade into being nicer about e.g. Auerbach's 1980s work, or Freud's inability to draw convincing legs, than the work actually merits.

The point I am trying to make is that critics' comments on living artists do, sometimes, get distorted by personal attraction or aversion, whether consciously or otherwise. It's hard to see how this can be avoided, especially when critics who are willing to be honest, but possibly unpleasant, about living artists get labelled as monsters (the Greenberg Syndrome) whereas critics who are nice but perhaps a bit generous about living artists lead much more pleasant, if less productive lives.



February 3, 2007, 2:41 PM

You may have a point Bunny. Of course I like the art of the first 4 more than the other 2 also, and I don't know any of them.

Greenberg's problem was less a matter of the negative things he said about other artists (almost always only in conversation) than his pointing to so little as being any good. Obviously this will always be the case, but saying so unapologetically flew in the face of the burgeoning post-war art market, and, coupled with the huge authority he gained from his perspicacity, excellent writing and the perception that he put over the Abstract Expressionists almost single-handedly (a notion he himself scoffed at) created a conflict that could only be resolved by the massive vilification which is carried on to this day, with yet another book just published in the endless desperate campaign of Greenberg-bashing.



February 3, 2007, 2:52 PM

"...the art world as it stands requires periodic construction, and burning, of unflattering effigies of Greenberg, preferably made out of straw. A whole industry sprung up around the demonization of his person and ideas. That industry continues today, so that modern academics still talk about his "rigid theoretical grid" even though he didn't have one." - Yours truly.



February 3, 2007, 5:16 PM

My fellow studiosavant bloggers and myself are pleased to garner a spot on's blogroll. We're within a few days of our blog's first anniversary, with 220 posts to date. The NESW blog is a direct result of having had such an unexpectedly positive interactions at

To celebrate's 1000 posts, I've finally made good on my promise to get the t-shirt. Is this where I challenge all other listeners to meet or beat my pledge?



February 3, 2007, 10:23 PM

Um, unexpected only in that two years ago I didn't really figure I'd find anything of value on the interwebnets at all - at least not as far as art was concerned. It was a genuine pleasure to come across a locus of goodists.



February 3, 2007, 11:13 PM

The pleasure has been mine, sir, and continues to be. Thank you.



February 4, 2007, 12:09 AM

Good point Bunny. I just watched a WLRN television documentary about the Worlds most important Ballet competition held in Jackson Mississippi. All of the contestants spoke about the judges distortions about quality.



February 5, 2007, 3:45 AM

Hey, has enyone ever achieved the perfect etch-a-sketch circle ? I did ! Is that Art ?


Arthur Whitman

February 12, 2007, 5:51 PM

The blogroll annotations seem to be mostly gone.



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