Essays

Post image for Annie Leibovitz, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Aura of Expensive Art

Photographer Annie Leibovitz’s latest work of art is a book — a book that measures more than two feet high, runs to 476 pages, and comes with its own tripod, designed by Marc Newson.

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Essays

The Jewish Blues

by Aram Saroyan on April 21, 2014

Post image for The Jewish Blues

LOS ANGELES — I first saw Saul Bellow in the early 1960s at a reading he gave one afternoon of his play “The Last Analysis.” The reading took place in a large, light-filled studio on the Upper West Side in New York, for an audience of invited guests.

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Post image for Seeing Past Portland’s Whiteness

LOS ANGELES — I didn’t mean for my trip to Portland to have such a focus on race.

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Post image for Thinking About Art Practice and the Role of Compromise

What happens when an artist’s inclinations towards her/his work conflict with her/his ability to sell and keep making it?

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Post image for The Line Is a Circle: Painting at the Threshold

I was born in 1983. Just shy of my 31st birthday, it occurred to me that somewhere after 1984 — virtually my entire lifetime — painting disappears almost entirely from most books on contemporary art history.

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Post image for Thomas McEvilley: And Autumnstruck We Would Not Hear the Song

Everyone talks about working outside the box but most of us don’t even know what box we’re boxed in by so we box ourselves in all the more. The work of Thomas McEvilley not only shows the imaginary fly the way out of actual fly bottles but also shows that preposterous insect how to get back in.

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Post image for The Scientific Artist: On Reading Michel Houellebecq

I can think of no better way to frame a brief introduction to Houellebecq’s work (still largely unfamiliar to Americans) than to structure it around a tension between analysis and lyricism.

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Post image for The Museum of Modern Art as Muse

If the howlings this week surrounding the fate of the American Folk Art Museum building are any indication, a low-stakes outrage has gripped the culture pages of virtually every newspaper and magazine in America.

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Post image for Context and Silence: On the Art Writings of Eva Hesse and Cady Noland

How important is it to control one’s image, to have mastery over one’s oeuvre? As a female artist, to allow one’s life and work to merge is risky. It is a softness.

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Post image for What Does It Mean to Be a Cultural Disrupter?

Coverage of the visual arts in the New York Times hit a new low last weekend in its Arts & Leisure feature, “The Disrupters,” a roundup of interviews with “people who broke the rules” during 2013, “a year of cultural upheaval.”

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