Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Sunday palate cleanser: Der Rosenkavalier

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Der Rosenkavalier, full opera, Covent Garden,

This production of Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” by Oscar-winning film director John Schlesinger, marked the 25th anniversary of Sir Georg Solti’s spectacular debut at Covent Garden. Featuring Kiri Te Kanawa’s first performance in London in the role of Marschallin.

Sunday palate cleanser: The Cloister’s Fuentidueña

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

How do you dismantle, transport, rebuild, and conserve a structure that is almost 1,000 years old?

This 28-minute documentary chronicles the dismantling of the 12th-century apse from the church of San Martín in Fuentidueña, Spain, and its reconstruction at The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Medieval branch, between 1958 and 1961. The film combines archival footage of the apse shot in situ,

It has become a location for spectacular a capella concerts thanks to its acoustics, and now includes modern art installations. Here’s a video of the installation of Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet.

“Culture is how we pass the time between hypocrisies.”

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

This morning, while dealing with a brand-new washing machine spewing out soapy water all over the garage floor, I’ve come across a number of articles bemoaning the death of culture.

The first one was at American Digest’s Sidelines,

Our culture has continued to slide giggling into the pit.

It is now thirty years since you last heard anyone hum a tune from a current popular song.

Concerts of serious music rarely include anything less than half a century old. Very few of us could name a living painter or architect. Entire years pass when no American outside the academy spontaneously quotes a line of verse written by any American poet younger than Elizabeth Bishop (b. 1911), or a British poet younger than Philip Larkin (b. 1922). The middlebrow novel is slipping into extinction. Movies are an extension of the comic-book industry; only TV drama shows occasional flashes of brilliance. The churches are branch offices of Globalist Multiculturalism, Inc.: the Episcopal church in my sleepy, 360-year-old Long Island town advertises Misa en Español. A Report from the Conservative Movement’s Dustbin – The Unz Review

Inclined as I am towards ancient music, non-fiction books, and not going to church, the moaning about “It is now thirty years since you last heard anyone hum a tune from a current popular song” tells me that the person who wrote that doesn’t have young children incessantly playing the brainworm-inducing Happy and Let It Go. Never mind that up until a couple of years ago the only living painter most people could name was Thomas Kincaid, the Leonardo of QVC.

The second is Joshua Cohen’s review, Mario Vargas Llosa’s ‘Notes on the Death of Culture’. Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society is Vargas Llosa’s latest book, where he bemoans “our” lack of common culture, deploring “The Civilization of the Spectacle,” an essay I read while my mom was looking at Vargas Llosa himself on the cover of ¡Hola!. Don Mario was having lunch with his latest mistress, Julio Iglesias’s first wife, and pop! the paparazzi caught the spectacle.

The third was this beaut from Boer Deng at the WaPo, Ballet is more diverse than ever. Why is the audience still so white?
Changes to American ballet go beyond Misty Copeland.
Ms Deng is uniquely ignorant of the several principal dancers of Spanish and South American ancestry at the NYCB & the ABT over the decades, and insultingly ignorant of this.

Yes, there is a coarsening of society in general. If you, my gentle reader, are bothered by it, don’t sponsor and don’t frequent those engaged in what bothers you. Continue to engage and support that art which feeds your soul, and bring a friend or two when you do. (While you are at it, you may buy Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society through my Amazon links.)

If you want to be more proactive, The Western Canon and The Educated Child are two good resources. Dress up, including during travel. Come up with something that promotes the culture you appreciate.

As for the rest, I agree with Joshua Cohen when he says, “Culture is how we pass the time between hypocrisies.”

Blogging on Latin America shall resume shortly.

Linked to by American Digest. Thank you!

Sunday palate cleanser: Royal Ballet company class

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

This will [hopefully] be the first of a new category, Sunday palate cleansers, dedicated to the arts:

Royal Ballet company class

Insights at Neo-neocon.

Puerto Rico: Flaming June at the Frick

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

#FlamingJuneattheFrick – One of my favorite paintings is showcased at my favorite NYC museum:

Flaming Frick

Leighton’s Flaming June
June 9, 2015 to September 6, 2015

At the end of his career, the British artist Frederic Leighton painted the now-iconic image of a sleeping woman in a vivid orange gown. This nineteenth-century masterpiece embodies the modern philosophy of “art for art’s sake,” the belief that the value of art lies in its aesthetic qualities rather than in its subject matter. The sensuously draped figure — freed from any narrative context — is integrated into a harmonious ensemble of rhythmic lines and radiant color. On loan from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, Flaming June makes its first public appearance in New York City, exhibited alongside the Frick’s four full-length portraits by James McNeill Whistler, another major proponent of “art for art’s sake.”

Lecture live webcast tomorrow Wed. June 10 at 6PM Eastern.

This, and the Museo de Arte de Ponce‘s collection of Pre-Raphaelites, started my interest in late 19th Century painting.

Leighton House

The Artsy folks emailed regarding the 2014 page. There’s also the 2015 Art Basel coming up June 18-21.

Art: Abstract interpretation of a minion sells for $46.5million

Friday, May 15th, 2015

For your consideration:



Today’s podcast: Adrian Plasencia

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Talking about art with artist Adrian Plasencia in Silvio Canto’s podcast

and, Art Basel‘s on this weekend.

“Neat . . . sweet . . . petite!

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The royal Danes go full Addams,

Brazil: The highflying tastemaker

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

The WSJ has an article on art collector Pedro Barbosa, and the Art of a Global Deal
To play in the big leagues, art patrons need a private plane to jet off to international art fairs, staff curators, prizes, artist residencies and private museums. How a rising Brazilian collector does it.

Here are some of the items in his collection. I can’t help but wonder what Gerard would say about this.

You and I may call that an old refrigerator, but to a [rich enough] connoisseur, it’s art.

Art, schnart UPDATED

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

I don’t call it performance art if anyone else other than the “artiste” would get busted for loitering if engaging in the same activity, but the MMA found the convergence of exhibitionism and celebrity worship:

Tilda Swinton sleeps in glass box for surprise performance piece at Museum of Modern Art
As part of her installation ‘The Maybe,’ the ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ actress napped in a transparent box full of cushions while museum-goers gawked.

The cot’s too short, too.

Here’s a group of bloggers engaging in performance art at a different venue,