“If you want to survive the 19th century,” Allison Meier wryly observed, “don’t get on a boat or go to the theater.” Meier, who has been giving tours of cemeteries in New York City since 2011 (and is a Hyperallergic staff writer), held aloft a lantern illuminating the granite obelisk marking the mass grave of 103 people who perished in the Brooklyn Theater Fire of 1876.
Arianne Wack is a graduate student at NYU, studying Cultural Reporting and Criticism. She is an alumna of Ringling College of Art and Design, where she studied the finer arts, with a concentration in printmaking. Art and culture aside, she enjoys recreationally lying on the floor and the feeling of bare feet on soggy grass. You can find her on Twitter.
Ballet Meets Folk for a “Cornbread Duet”
With old-timey string tunes that’ll lift your spirits and your knees, the Carolina Chocolate Drops know how to get the party hopping like no other revivalist band can.
Getting to Know Milton Glaser, the Godfather of Modern Design
The east-facing windows of Milton Glaser’s studio on 32nd Street overlook a school playground. Every day at 2:35 pm, a deluge of rowdy grade-schoolers surges into the courtyard as their parents float and mingle along the perimeter. Yellow buses queue up dutifully between the parked cars that line both sides of the street.
In Their Own Words: Forest Houses Residents Consider the Gramsci Monument
With the help of local residents, Thomas Hirschhorn built a public artwork called the Gramsci Monument in the Forest Houses in the Bronx this past summer. Hyperallergic contributor Arianne Wack visited just before it came down to talk to residents about their experiences with the project.
Creative Redemption: Edward Hopper’s Drawings and Lewis Hyde’s The Gift
One of the reasons Hyde’s book is so loved, and why the Hopper exhibition is so relentlessly moving, is because they give cause for celebration; for honoring those protracted dialogues with our inner muses, when they are both abundant, generous and nourishing, and when they are truculent, belligerent, and downright cruel.
In Case You Missed It: What Is Tumblr Art?
During last Saturday’s The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium, Hyperallergic intern Arianne Wack talked to the people who attended the event and asked them what they thought of when they heard Tumblr and art. Here is what she found:
Listening to the Stories of Volta
This year’s Volta NY spoke many different dialects, but most of them seemed to stem from the same language. Although there were a total of 95 galleries exhibiting, with works ranging from the very minimal to the very ornate, a large chunk of the art on view was either obliquely or transparently narrative
Are We Post–Black Art?
There are so many fault lines between art and politics, navigating them can feel dizzying and often futile. Conversations about identity politics, economics, heritage, corrective curating, and the broader issues of inclusion and exclusion are important but can be a drag on art itself, to the point where it can seem like the work vanishes behind real or imagined social mores. Such was the case with Ken Johnson’s review last fall in the New York Times of MoMA PS1’s Now Dig this! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 and the debate it engendered. The review spurned a lot of groaning about uninformed opinions and who constitute the “gatekeepers” of the art canon. A petition for the Times to reconcile this “editorial lapse” with its normally higher standard of writing was started as angry voices accumulated, gaining over 1,600 signatures.
Art History, Poetics, and Bad Grammar: The Love Letters of O’Keeffe and Stieglitz
The love letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz number upwards of 25,000. It’s such a prolific amount, it makes you marvel that they had any time at all to live the lives they did. The first published volume of their correspondence is some 700 pages, and it captures all the intimacies and intangibles one suffers for, because of, or in spite of love. It is also a valuable source of art history, self-help, bad spelling, and indulgent use of the em dash.
NASA Beams the Mona Lisa into Space
What do art mavens and NASA nerds have in common? Maybe not much. But late last month, the two were artfully brought together when the Mona Lisa was projected into outer space on laser pulses.