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Posted inArt

At MoMA, Drawing as the Politics of Living

Sometimes an exhibition reminds you of why exhibitions exist, those surprising moments when usually dull curatorial exercises become transcendent experiences, reinvigorating overlooked corners of art history. I Am Still Alive at the Museum of Modern Art is one of those exhibitions, defiant and vivacious as anything I’ve seen in New York in the past few years. The show focuses entirely on drawing, demonstrating contemporary drawing’s engagement with the politics of living and everyday life. This is art as struggle and art as achievement, nowhere more reaffirmed than in On Kawara’s telegrams sent to the artist’s dealers and friends simply stating: “I am still alive.” To make art and to fight through problems and conflicts, social or personal, through the medium of art is to be alive.

Posted inArt

Tribeca Film Fest Special: In Saint Laurent Film, Opposites Attract

When fashion impresario Yves Saint Laurent was once asked to name his favorite poet, he paused for a moment, smiled and spoke Pierre Bergé’s name in a soft tone. This “poet” was the designer’s devoted companion for over fifty years. He was also the impresario that ran the logistics of the Yves St. Laurent Couture House from day one in 1961 until its final bow in 2002. But his was probably his knack for finding the right word at the right time that enabled both their business and romance to last.

Posted inArt

An Appreciation of MoMA’s Miniature Picasso

Walking through the Museum of Modern Art’s modern galleries the other day, I happened upon a small painting that’s about as powerful a work as any I’ve ever seen in the museum, and maybe my favorite object in the collection. Surprisingly, this mini work is actually a Picasso, and even at 6 1/4 by 4 3/8 inches is a tour de force of brushstroke, color and composition. Created in 1921 during Picasso’s classical period, this bathing woman is monumental even in the smallest of frames.

Posted inArt

A Novel Through the Eyes of Van Gogh’s Doctor

Written from the perspective of Dr. Gachet, Vincent van Gogh’s physician, Carol Wallace’s Leaving Van Gogh is the fictional story of the famous painter’s final months in the French town of Auvers. Based on 902 letters exchanged between Van Gogh and his family and friends, the novel paints the picture of a brilliant but tormented artist who alternates between captivating and scaring those closest to him. About to embark on the book tour, Wallace took the time to share her thoughts on Vincent van Gogh, mental illness and the joy of writing about painting.

Posted inNews

Court Rules Maine Labor Mural’s Removal Is Legal

Last friday, a federal judge denied a request to order Maine to return a mural to a state Labor Department office where it was removed last month. According to the ruling, the Maine governor’s order to remove the 36-foot-long mural in late March constituted government speech, or the right of government to say what it wishes regardless of the viewpoint expressed.