Ai Weiwei as Easter egg … if only he was that easy to find. (via

This week’s selection is a grab bag of links about Picasso, the camera obscura, wondrous product designs, museum acquisitions, Mummers in Newfoundland and criticism and time.

Curators Diana Widmaier Picasso, art historian and granddaughter of Pablo Picasso and Marie-Thérèse, and Picasso biographer John Richardson, discuss organizing the Gagosian Gallery’s new exhibition, Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou, on the Leonard Lopate show (18:56) on WNYC.

Claudia La Rocco pens an interesting article for the Brooklyn Rail titled, “Some Thoughts, Possibly Related, on Time, Criticism, and the Nature of Consciousness.” I really liked this passage:

People often ask me to describe what it is I do for a living. When I reply that I see a lot of art and write about it, the two most common responses I get from these people are, “Oh, how glamorous!” and “I could never be a critic, because I’m not good at being mean.”

… Last year, for example, I saw roughly 170 performances of dance, theater and live visual art, or some combination of the three.

I’d guess that’s about 20,400 minutes spent traveling to and from the theater, typically by subway and often by myself, and maybe 12,750 minutes at the performances themselves. And there were about 2550 minutes of just waiting for the show to begin. Nothing ever starts on time in New York. But I like those minutes — they’re rich and floating, full and empty all at once.

If you ever wondered how to make a camera obscura, this National Geographic video should clarify things.

The Los Angeles Museum of Art on Fire blog has an interesting post this week about LACMA’s lost opportunity to be at the forefront of street art. The institution commissioned murals by Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee for their parking garage in 2000 but then destroyed them five years later before the pair became world renowned.

I wish all museums blogged their acquisitions like LACMA does. Here they announce acquisitions by Christian Marclay, Ai Weiwei, Craig Kaufman, Donald Judd’s prototype desk, and numerous other historic objects from Japan, Mexico and Peru. They also followed up with more detailed posts like this one for the Judd desk or this one for Ai’s “Untitled (Divine Proportion)” (2006). A+ in my book.

An article from the Guardian talks to “combative art critic, radical writer and consistent challenger of institutional power” John Berger of Ways of Seeing fame. His new book, Bento’s Sketchbook, is described by the article as a “collaboration with Spinoza.”

30 bizarre and creative examples of package design on You The Designer.

And finally, Johan Hallberg-Campbell’s photos of Mummers in Newfoundland look like giant rag dolls come to life.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning at 7am-ish EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.