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À la Recherche de Jeanne Duval

À la Recherche de Jeanne Duval

Who Was the Mysterious Mistress Immortalized by Two 19th-century Geniuses, Charles Baudelaire and Édouard Manet The widespread protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in May, abetted by the swelling powers of the Black Lives Matter movement, got some of us with...

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Going Postal

Going Postal

400-plus American Artists Collaborate to Protest Trump’s Threat to Privatize the U.S. Post Service By Melissa Stern This past January, Donald Trump began muttering about privatizing the U.S. Postal Service. By April, as the necessity for mail-in voting took hold...

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Streaming van Gogh

Streaming van Gogh

Why set oneself the task of watching all the movies about Vincent van Gogh available for streaming during this period of lockdown and self-isolation? I believe the initial suggestion came from Amazon Prime, way back in February, when the site proposed Robert Altman’s...

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Michelle Cooke: Let There Be Light

Michelle Cooke: Let There Be Light

In those halcyon days when people could still meet easily in restaurants—possibly late February or early March—I caught up with my friend Michelle Cooke, who divides her time between New York and Taos, NM, in a quiet corner of a local eatery called El Sabroso. What we...

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Artists Respond to the Pandemic Part 3

Artists Respond to the Pandemic Part 3

We are now rounding out the fourth month of the Covid-19 pandemic, a worldwide catastrophe that, as of now, shows no signs of fully abating, especially in the United States and a few other countries that have been slow to realize the serious need of playing it safe....

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Looking Back

Looking Back

Artists reflect on changes, shifts, departures, and continuity I’m fairly sure it was Chicago artist Sharon Swidler who mentioned a year or so ago that she was riffling through her inventory and remarking on the absence of abrupt departures in her work. I tucked the...

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Artists Respond to the Pandemic Part 2

Artists Respond to the Pandemic Part 2

Here we are, now well into the third month of self-isolation, wearing our masks like good citizens if we go out at all, minding the headlines and the barrage of information, and perhaps generally adjusting to a global catastrophe whose true measure will not be known...

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Artists Respond to the Pandemic

Artists Respond to the Pandemic

In newsletters, I’ve touched on the way artists respond to catastrophe—specifically war and widespread disease—from the Middle Ages to the present. Some, like Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, may take decades for the horror of their times to percolate into their...

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Art Critics in the Time of Covid-19

Art Critics in the Time of Covid-19

What does an art critic do when the museums and galleries are closed? When classes are canceled (if you teach)? When your book spirals into limbo (if you have a publication in the works)? What does the future of art criticism look like as works migrate steadily to...

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What To Do When You Can’t Face the Studio

What To Do When You Can’t Face the Studio

An artist’s life is generally isolated at the best of times, and that is the way most would have it. Unless you’re Andy Warhol running The Factory and possibly pathologically in need of company at all hours, you require solitude to do your best work. So, for some this...

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What Is a Drawing? Part Eight

What Is a Drawing? Part Eight

In this, the eighth round-up of drawings from members of the site, I find myself running out of more to say about this oldest means of making an image. And yet even if I fall short on words, the artists never cease to amaze me with new ways to make a drawing....

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