My Mother, My Self

Lessons and inspiration from an artist mom By Patricia Moss-Vreeland In all my years of training as an artist, both at the University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art, I can recall many gifted and inspiring teachers, but none gave me quite so solid a sense of...

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The Naked and the Nude

Is there still any distinction? It might have been a test of how our perceptions of the unclothed body in art have changed over the past four decades: Seven years ago, at the Museum of Modern Art, a young man and a young woman stood facing each other in a doorway,...

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Open Studios: Part Two

Make it a social event “I went through a depressing period when I thought I was all alone in my part of the world,” says Diane Di Bernardino Sanborn, who lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and makes largely abstract work. “There are no galleries in my area for contemporary art....

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Raphaëlle Goethals

As a child in Belgium, Raphaëlle Goethals had the good fortune to be exposed to the great museums of Europe and to the Late Gothic and Northern Renaissance masterworks in her native city of Brussels. “My mom would take us all over the place and whether you like it or...

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Three Great Summer Books—and One Only So-So

Why read two Diane Arbus biographies back to back? Because, after finishing Arthur Lubow’s recent life of the photographer, published a year ago, I found myself so annoyed with his detached and bloodless recitation of Arbus’s life that I turned to other reviewers to...

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Carol Hepper

In 2011-2012, Carol Hepper spent a year-long residency at Park Avenue Armory, the venerable 19th-century building on New York’s Upper East Side that once served as home to an elite military regiment. The landmark was undergoing extensive renovations as part of its...

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Open Studios: Part One

The ins and outs of making your life and work a public affair When I first broached the topic of open studios to several Vasari 21 members, some said, “No way. I don’t want a lot of lookee-loos traipsing through my private spaces.” Or “I’m at the point where I have...

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Arlene Rush

“I always liked the physicality of sculpture,” says Arlene Rush, who grew up in the Bronx and Queens and now lives and work in what denizens of the outer boroughs still refer to as “the city”—Manhattan. The daughter of Depression-era parents, the second generation in...

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A Sense of Place

What does it mean to be a “regional artist” today? By Millicent Young Bradley Sumrall, curator at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, posed this question in his juror’s talk for “Homeward Bound,” the Taubman Museum’s inaugural triennial for Virginia artists. I resisted...

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Brandon Graving

As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in late August 2005, Brandon Graving, whose studio was in the uptown Riverbend area, calmly thought to herself, “Well, I’ve lived through hurricanes, so I’ll survive this one.” By that Saturday, though, it was clear that...

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Jane Shoenfeld

After dropping out of the MFA program at Brooklyn College in her twenties, Jane Shoenfeld stopped painting and using color and spent three years drawing her dreams in black and white. Thus began a process that continues some 40 years later of working from what she...

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They Cried. They Gasped. But No One Fainted.

How Critics and Curators Respond to Memorable Works of Art In a recent issue of The New Yorker, actress Allison Janney reported of her first encounter with Wassily Kandinsky’s Black Lines (1913) in the Guggenheim Museum: “I felt an energy go through my chest." I could...

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Critical Reversals

Even the Most Respected Critics Change Their Minds When a politician flip-flops on a position, the public and press alike are quick to cry foul, hurling accusations of bad faith or pandering. But when an art critic changes his or her mind, the ripple effect is likely...

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Deonne Kahler

In the last four years, Deonne Kahler has produced a remarkable series of photographs of the U.S. National Parks system. With an unsentimental but expansive eye, she aims to capture what she calls the “soul and personality” of these wild and often breathtakingly...

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