Author Archive
Everlasting Album Art

Everlasting Album Art

Browsing Don Hunstein’s timeless pop star photography     You got older but they didn’t. See them as they were—Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, and dozens more–in their best preserved envelope of time.  Photographs by Don Hunstein, the great “in-house photographer” for Columbia Records, are in a show encompassing 30 years,...
Seeing the City as Art

Seeing the City as Art

How Jan Gehl redesigned New York  If you empty it out, they will come. This is the working premise of Danish architect Jan Gehl.  Here is your chance to learn about the chap responsible for all the initial bitching about those silly looking chairs in Times Square when traffic was forbidden and space opened up...
Punks Jump Up

Punks Jump Up

Culture warp at the Met’s “Chaos to Culture” show  What punk? An extravaganza prefaced by a non-smelly replication of the club CBGB’s toilet, “Punk: Chaos to Couture” is the Metropolitan Museums of Art’s most recent nod to what used to be termed popular culture.  Here, go directly to couture despite some mood-inducing references, in piped-in...
Wearable Art

Wearable Art

Impressionists, Fashion and Modernity at the Met A big show founded on a simple idea, “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” is like taking a gander at the walk-in closet of some very elegant people, only they’re expecting you. The dresses, also a few men’s frock coats, are there, as well as hats, corsets, even dressing table...
Sculpt This!

Sculpt This!

Niki de Saint Phalle transforms Park Avenue When the Oracle asked Niki de Saint Phalle which it would be, “perfection of the life or perfection of the art,” she said, “Screw Yeats. I’ll take both.” For the most part, this is what artist-sculptor Saint Phalle did and what she got. An installation of nine of...
Art Profiteer

Art Profiteer

Taryn Simon’s gotcha pics guilt the art world One is always suspicious of an exhibit where you have to strain to “get it” by going to the wall text, then to the images, then back to the text, and so on. Such is the case with A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters 1-XVIII...
Moga Better Deco

Moga Better Deco

Japan Shapes 20th Century Art and Culture Sometimes the best way to get at a culture is to smash it up against a disparate element, or encase it in a seemingly alien time frame, seeing unexpected elements in each, even redefining each. So it is with Art Deco, and Japan, a yoking you never thought...
What’s Left of Diego Rivera?

What’s Left of Diego Rivera?

A revisionist look at a political painter Art is nothing if not revisionist in that it demands that we look, and then look again. That’s a fancy way of saying there’s a new fat man in my aesthetic life I had dismissed—not so much for his girth as for his perceived misogyny. I am not...
Shake That Body

Shake That Body

Vital Parts Rearranged at MoMA A show to give you nightmares and rip through your subconscious, Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration at MoMA is not so much about decay as rearrangement. The slight misnomer of the title hints at the gothic quality of the 90 paintings, drawings, images, pen-and-inks—you name it—by artists as disparate and...
Atget’s Documents

Atget’s Documents

Eugene Atget Photographed Reality and Surreality The title tells it all: “Documents pour artistes” is the name of the show, but was also the name of Eugene Atget’s shop in Paris. The French photographer (1857 to 1927) insisted his photographs—all 8,500 of them—were merely documents for sale to craftspeople, and then, as he grew in...
The World of Duncan Phyfe

The World of Duncan Phyfe

Reviving a Life of Craft and Design How to find a real Duncan Phyfe? Knock-offs of his furniture have been floating around for centuries; the cabinetmaker rarely signed his work. Simple. Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Wing. Telescoping time backwards, pass the Frank Lloyd Wright rooms on your left (still seems...