Arden Reed

Take it Slow

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Edouard Manet, Young Lady in 1866 (1866)

Edouard Manet, Young Lady in 1866 (1866)

In a forthcoming book from University of California Press, cultural historian Arden Reed mentions the rather astonishing discovery that the average museumgoer devotes about 10 to 15 seconds to studying a work of art.  Yet his own experiences with widely different kinds of art, beginning with a long-term involvement with Manet’s Young Lady in 1866 in the Metropolitan Museum, led him to write a book on the joys of slowing down when we come to processing painting, sculptures, or a massive example of Land Art like James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

James Turrell, Roden Crater, exterior view (started in 1977, still ongoing), Flagstaff, AZ

James Turrell, Roden Crater, exterior view (started in 1977, still ongoing), Flagstaff, AZ

Our conversation about his new book, Slow Art, from University of California Press, touches on a broad range of topics, from “stereoscopic logic” to a pageant of tableaux vivants in Laguna Beach, CA,, to Ad Reinhardt’s series of “Black Paintings.” And he discusses what artists have to gain from learning about “contemplation satisfaction.”

 

James Turrell, Sun and Moon Chamber from the Roden Crater

James Turrell, Sun and Moon Chamber from the Roden Crater

 

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Laguna Beach "Pageant of the Masters" tableau vivant

Laguna Beach “Pageant of the Masters” tableau vivant

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James Turrell, Alpha Tunnel from the Roden Crater

James Turrell, Alpha Tunnel from the Roden Crater

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