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Post #1133 • February 29, 2008, 8:36 AM • 26 Comments

"Search the history of American art, and you will discover few watercolors more beautiful than those of Charles Demuth. Combining exacting botanical observation and loosely Cubist abstraction, his watercolors of flowers, fruit and vegetables have a magical liveliness and an almost shocking sensuousness." Ken Johnson covers Demuth at the Whitney.

"Would I prefer it if our elites had the taste of 18th century aristocratic patrons and were subsidizing the likes of Mozart, Haydn, and Tiepolo, instead of Jeff Koons and Richard Prince? A thousand times, yes! But as much as I yearn to live in a world that could produce such beauty, I have to recognize that this is the best of all possible times to be alive." Heather MacDonald. (AS)


Department of Friends of Rob Willms has an opening tonight at Common Sense Gallery in Edmonton, which is the new space associated with the North Edmonton Sculpture Workshop. Warren Craghead (quoted at TCJ) has six works in the WPA Auction Gala; the auction takes place next Friday. Carolina Salazar is organizing Love Cures, an auction to take place in Miami in February 2009 to benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where her infant son is receiving treatment for neuroblastoma.

Department of Taste is Objective: "You know the feeling - the shiver that shoots across your skin when you hear that song. But why do some of us feel the tingle of Barber's strings, while others are tickled by Bjork's epic voice? And why do a small proportion of us feel no shivers at all?... [Dr. Tim Griffiths has found that] the centre that produces the 'shiver' also mediates our responses to cocaine and orgasms. The headiest combination is literally sex, drugs and rock'n'roll." Also: "The urge to cuddle and coo when presented with a baby turns out to be an innate response prompted, at least in part, by the structure of an infant's face, according to new research that actually shows how this baby love process works in adult brains." (AJ)

"When, exactly, did art collections turn into an insufferable burden for museums? When did the need for a new museum paradigm arise? When, in the wide-ranging cultural conversation about art museums today, did we lose our collective mind? The answers to these questions, in order, are: never, never and last January." Christopher Knight. (AJ, MAN comments)

Arthur Whitman covers Daumier at the Met Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

Terry Teachout remembers William F. Buckley.

Greg Cookland on Louis Kahn at Cape Ann.

Crayon Physics Deluxe. (Kottke)

Department of Skills: China Forbes, who has a new solo album out after many years of fronting Pink Martini.

Update: Today is the last day you can use the Utrecht Coupon! Cash in now, honey, cash in now.



Arthur Whitman

February 29, 2008, 12:51 PM

Thanks for the link. The show I reviewed is at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (though the picture link is indeed to the Met -- sorry if that was confusing).



February 29, 2008, 1:21 PM

Thank you as well Franklin for posting the info on the Love Cures art auction. I have been out of the art loop for a while and have lost touch with alot of artists. So hopefully this will help get the word out there.



February 29, 2008, 1:53 PM

I would have liked to read the Christopher Knight piece, but if the LA Times still wants to play stupid registration games, then it can just kiss my ass.



February 29, 2008, 2:34 PM




February 29, 2008, 5:37 PM

As always thanks for the mention and link Franklin.



February 29, 2008, 5:45 PM

and Carolina, good luck with the auction and your child's treatment. My wife used to be a researcher at MSKCC - they do good work there.



March 2, 2008, 6:43 AM

thank you WWC. I know MSKCC is one of the best research hospitals out there. So far I have had great response on the auction and hope to get many more participants.


Marc Country

March 6, 2008, 6:37 AM

Here's a new item for the funny pages...



March 6, 2008, 11:55 AM

and here's another one:



March 6, 2008, 1:06 PM

can someone fix opie's link? if i try to copy it, my machine selects all the text from the whole thread.



March 6, 2008, 1:44 PM

opie's link



March 6, 2008, 3:37 PM

Thanks Eric. I don't know how to plant hyperlinks on the blog.

This one is the Times story about the laughable "Color Chart" show that MoMA cooked up to show that their guys can do color field as good as them nasty formalist artists that seem to be catching on again. Dynamite stuff like, yes!, a great big color chart by Ellsworth "Killer" Kelly, and subtle things by Jasper "The Grey Man" Johns.



March 6, 2008, 6:30 PM

If you have any interest in learning how to do it opie I recommend this method. On my desktop I keep a word document that has a single line of HTML in it (so I can easily open the word doc and copy and paste this one line while I am online).

Visit W3Schools!

I paste it into whatever comment box I am using at the moment, replace the with whatever website I want to direct people to and then I replace Visit W3Schools! with whatever text I want to appear as the hyperlinked text itself. It is quick and easy to do. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.



March 6, 2008, 6:37 PM

Sorry Franklin. I did not mean to include an actual hyperlink in my previous comment.



March 6, 2008, 6:46 PM

Thanks, Eric. I suspect there is a simpler way, however.



March 6, 2008, 6:51 PM

i'd like to think that some of the minimal stuff (flavin, judd, stella - made some good work early) might have something going on but as for the rest.

as it ages minimalism seems more and more about interior design. it really can't satisfy beyond that i don't think.



March 6, 2008, 7:01 PM

The point is that those MoMA perennials are to color as Dick Cheney is to kinder & gentler. The premise of the show is as clunky as the art in it.



March 6, 2008, 7:23 PM

minimalism put a focus on materiality which was very important for subsequent thinking about color.

but it's weird how 'minimalism' gets dropped as a descriptive. it is uncannily workable as a theme or genre if we want to talk about a spare aesthetic but really it homogenizes some really diverse work made by some pretty hard working artists.

the best of the big gun minimalistadors still ain't got no real soul. the color is didactic.

i like your optimism opie. i sure hope that real color painting is on the rise.



March 6, 2008, 8:14 PM

i sure hope that real color painting is on the rise.

Pray tell, what is "real color painting?"



March 6, 2008, 8:20 PM

FWIW, A couple of years ago MOMA had a Jasper Johns across from the giant Twombly, one of the cross-hatched ones that was absolutely beautiful. Luminous, as good as a Monet, no kidding,



March 6, 2008, 8:23 PM

re 19

well, hmmm. maybe it is the painting that is mostly and expressively able to say something that could not be said without color and somewhere in the experience of it, it stamps out something of its own necessity as color.



March 6, 2008, 9:00 PM

Re 21,

I don't buy it. I would agree that some painters are better at utilizing the expressive quality of color. Monet in grey would get old fairly fast and early Van Gogh's are less interesting than his later works for this reason. Color is a property of painting.



March 6, 2008, 10:00 PM

color seems to me more a property of color.

what is it that you can easily say about it george?



March 7, 2008, 4:46 AM

I suppose "real" color painting is good painting where color does a lot of the work making it good. Noland is a good example. So is Frankenthaler. So is Monet., or Redon or lots of others.

There are very good painters where color is serviceable but mostly just structural or just basic, like Pollock, Mondrian, most of De Kooning, etc.

Then there are many in between.

An interesting essay could be written about this.


Marc Country

March 7, 2008, 6:24 AM

P.S. Roberta Smith is a jackass... Seriously. She gets it wrong from sentence #1, and makes more of an idiot of herself as she goes on...



March 7, 2008, 7:38 AM

Re #20, keep digging, George. You'll hit China before too long. I've seen a "Jasper Johns does AbEx with lots of color" number that's probably similar to what you describe. It belongs to one of Miami's major collectors. It's very big, very loud, very flashy, a veritable blue chipper's wet dream, but it's ultimately a messy failure. He should definitely stick to what he knows, such as it is.



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